In 1983, the General Bazaar residential area in Lal Darwaja was rudely shaken out of its lethargic slumber and thrust onto the old city's map. Menaka was one of the mighty impressive cinema halls in the city. It is the same even today. That is, the same archaic seating arrangement, the same relic of a construction and the same interiors with no AC and DTS.
If you are accustomed to Hi-Tech City, Banjara Hills, Begumpet and the likes, your visit to Menaka (and Apsara
)would be similar to crashing on a deserted island from a passenger plane. Once you enter the imposing gateway of Menaka, for some vague, irrational reason, you feel that the place is yours. Few people and a wide stretch of land (including the parking) play a role in forming this first impression. At the counter, you cannot but help a shamelessly gleeful look at the prices for tickets spread before you Rs. 6, Rs. 10, Rs. 15 and Rs. 20.
The insides are as vast and keep the first impression intact. This, in addition to its being located in a densely populated residential area and its showing new Telugu movies, is one of the probable reasons as to why the theater runs well in spite of its primeval state.
A full-sized upper circle, average ambience and leg space, and mediocre quality food mark your visit to Menaka. Cleanliness is below moral levels, and the toilets are pathetically maintained. Somehow, even this in no way affects the numbers of families frequenting the cinema hall. As for us, we will make sure we keep going there whenever we are tired of routine - at least for the adventure and a peek at the other side of life. So should you.