Emad's Blog (Under Renovation)

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Moviegoing As A Spectator Sport!

Watching a movie at the cinemas in Lahore is quite an experience on it's own. Regardless of the movie being played, there is a pulse of social energy and excitement to be witnessed and that's always fascinated me.

Growing up in a slightly different part of the world, hitting the movies, or going to theater was always very private and personal. Sure people were sitting closely and sharing the same experience, but they chose to absorb it quietly, with srare occasional bursts of laughter at best. In fact, the more 'rebellious' amongst us were those that would whisper or snicker too loudly or in an untimely fashion while everyone else was silent.

When I pulled into the premier of Iron-man last night (which by the way is a must-watch!) at one of the nicer cinemas on the posh side of town, I was expecting to religiously get my pop corn and coke (Coke is unhealthy. If it wasn't such an important, albeit cliched ritual, I wouldn't touch that liquid of death!) and finding my way to the seat for 2 hours of mind-numbing, testosterone-charged visual entertainment.

The involvement of the audience was immediately evident as they gasped, giggled, and carried on with social agendas as if they were at a buzzing college party! Believe it or not, these bunch of passionate movie-goers would whistle, cheers and applaud every good scene in the film. They even found humor in the electrical fluctuation that made the screen go blank for a few minutes. At the end of those 2 hours, people got up and gave the movie a standing ovation! haha! Needless to say, I was taken aback by this enthusiastic show of appreciation. It was almost as if they audience half expected the actors on screen to come up from behind the curtains and take a bow!

Going to the movies in Lahore is passionate business. But it's not quite as sacred and private as in many other places out there. It's certainly not the ideal place to take your date hoping for some dark-corner fun! But it does remain a popular place for young people to socialize and have a great time.

I'm rather intrigued and I think I might just dare to go to the 'other' side of town to watch a local movie with a very different crowd profile. I hear it's quite a unique and remarkable activity to undertake! ..Perhaps, next time!



  • saw iron man last night as well :) kickass movie. All i need now is to get that suit...

    By Blogger chitgo, At 5/5/08 13:13  

  • its strange how cultural going to the movies can be... last year I had an eye opening experience in Syria when I went to see Underworld Revolution (the vampire movie) only to find it spliced with low grade soft porn. There were cats running around under my feet and a disabled guy who ran to sweep up each individual peanut shell as someone dropped it on the ground.

    Then there was Transformers in Egypt: where we stopped for a smoking break... and Bahrain where a Saudi couple would buy four seats in a row so that no one would sit next to them!

    nice post!

    By Blogger Westy, At 5/5/08 15:16  

  • I've always loved going to cinemas for movies and used to do the same giggles and mischiefs as you found around you. But since last few years, since these multiplexes have come in, this culture has gone off. Its really really sad for me.
    But, I still whistle, comment and dance around, have fun while in a cinema...who cares!!!
    Did you check out any Indian flick? I heard that they are doing really good in Pak.

    By Blogger sharmin, At 5/5/08 17:57  

  • We saw Race in Prince Cinema Karachi - hilarious! The hooting, whistling, clapping was amazing! Made the movie more fun! (of course, we were doing some of the hooting, whistling, clapping ourselves!)

    By Blogger nida, At 5/5/08 17:59  

  • @DC: You and I both, brother! Hell, I wanna get into that dogfight with the F-18s!

    @Westy: Woah! thanks for sharing man. Those are some pretty crazy experiences! Smoking break in Egypt! Lol!

    @Sharmin: Na man, haven't and probably won't be hittin the theatres for the Indian flicks. But I hear they're doing awesome (as you can tell from the post below, Nida did go!)

    @Nida: Haha! Yeah man it does have a very nice charm to it. I dont dislike it no way! It's just.. different!

    By Blogger Emad, At 5/5/08 19:00  

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