Bioscope- the new six-screen multiplex from the house of Priya Entertainments, and Axis, the mall by Bengal Peerless, where it is located were inaugurated in a grand event last evening, marking Poila Baisakh. After inaugural speeches, including one by Chief Guest Somnath Chatterjee(Ex-speaker), Chandrabindoo took the stage. It was followed by the premiere of Jodi Ekdin- Riingo's new flick with Priyanka, Indraneil Sengupta and Saheb Chatterjee in the cast.
Bioscope, the most ambitious project of Arijit Dutta (the Managing Director of Priya Entertainments) till date distinguishes itself being the first 'theme multiplex' in India, with a separate design theme on wall/ roof of each audi. So Cleopatra is the one, the largest with a proper stage with complete stagecraft for cultural shows, with an Egyptian theme decor, Aqua is with an underwater theme, Astro with a sky theme and 180 BC with a cave theme. The other two auditoriums will be used as a kids play zone (named 'Just Kiddin') and as a rehersal place for group theare (named 'Rangamancha'). The lobby is huge and has a Satyajit Ray corner, featuring film posters and rare stills of the behind-the-camera and personal life of the maestro, as its USP. But the pricing will take the cake. Mr Dutta has sworn to changed the paradigm and boradbase the multiplex audience by shifting his sight from the well-heeled and the upwardly mobile to the middle class through a down-to-earth pricing of Rs 50 to Rs 75 throughout the week for all shows. To add to it, Bioscope will accomodate Bengali cinema in its prime shows, unlike its peers, and just like Priya Cinema and Star Theatre- two of the best single-screen theatres in town (run by Priya Entertainments) where Hindi and Bangla releases co-exist smoothly.
The launch was well-attended by the dignitaries and celebrities. Spotted Koyel with father Ranjit Mullick, PC Sorcar with Joyshree Sorcar and daughters- Maneka, Moubani and Mumtaz, Dev, director duo Sudeshna Roy-Abhijit Guha, Mahendra Soni (of Venkatesh Films), Ashok Dhanuka (of Eskay Movies) apart from the cast & crew of Jodi Ekdin- Priyanka (with actor boyfriend Rahul), Indraneil (with actress wife Barkha Bisht), Saheb (never spotted in proximity of 'good friend' Mumtaz), Riingo and Rii(Rituparna Sen with a smart, trendy name, possibly to distinguish herself from her famous namesake in the industry). Post-premiere, a lavish cocktail dinner spread was laid out by Aheli- the Bengali cuisine restaurant of Peerless that opened its new branch at the same floor of Bioscope yesterday). There also was a fireworks show to add glitz to the event.
It remains to be seen how the audience warms up to Bioscope in the coming months. With exams over it's back to movie-watching time again and quite a few Bengali releases, both mainstream and alternative cinema, are waiting to be released in April-May. Here's wishing Bioscope all the best.