Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar on Sunday said he was thrilled that his recently released film "BellBottom" was screened at a travelling cinema hall in Ladakh, touted as the world's highest mobile theatre. Last week, Ladakh got its first inflatable cinema with a private company, PictureTime Digiplex, installing the theatre in the union territory.
The company installed the theatre in Leh and claimed it to be the highest altitude theatre in the world, installed at a height of 11,562 feet.
Kumar's "BellBottom", which released theatrically in the country on August 19, was screened for the Indian Army and CISF personnel on August 22.
The actor took to Twitter and described the mobile theatre as "an amazing feat". Sharing a picture he tweeted, "Makes my heart swell with pride that BellBottom was screened at World’s highest mobile theatre at Leh in Ladakh. At an altitude of 11562 ft, the theatre can operate at -28 degrees C. What an amazing feat!"
On Sunday the inflatable theatre was installed at the NSD Grounds at Leh. While The Chief Guest for the event was Thupstan Chewang, President, Ladakh Buddhist Association, actor Pankaj Tripathi was the Guest of Honour.
Offering digital movie screening on a big screen with Dolby 5.1 surround sound in a DCI complaint mode, these inflated enclosures hold a capacity to house around 150 people. Giving the current Covid protocol the theatre shall currently have around 75 seats with apt distance between the seats of the theatre and dividers between seats owing to the need of the hour of social distancing.
This will also be an ambient control theatre using state-of-the-art heating facility within the inflatable enclosure.
Sushil Chaudhary, Founder and CEO, Picturetime Digiplex says: "The vision has always been to reach out to the Entertainment dark spots of this country. Ladakh had been missing out on a big cinema screen for quite some time and I always wanted to bring in a multiplex cinema watching experience for the people here. I am so grateful to the Government of Ladakh for having faith in us. We aim to install two fixed cinema screens and one moving cinema screen in Ladakh in the next thirty days, and the citizens of Ladakh shall have access to newly released films as well."
Throwing more light as to what the presence of these cinemas mean to Ladakh and its citizens, Thupstan Chewang, President, Ladakh Buddhist Association says: "It has always been a very popular destination for film shoots. As you all know, Ladakh is one of the most secluded parts of the country. We are mostly cut off from the rest of the country half the year, so having a source of entertainment in the form of cinema is of great value to all of us."
"After the pandemic it became all the more difficult for people to come out of their homes and even though through the digital medium people had access to entertainment. We hope that through these inflatable moving theatres we get to watch all the good and latest content that is being made," he concludes.
Directed by Ranjit M Tewari, "BellBottom" also stars Lara Dutta, Huma Qureshi and Vaani Kapoor. The spy thriller features Akshay as a RAW agent who goes on a mission to save passengers of a hijacked flight. Not just the actor, but also the performances of the three heroines are also being praised.
Stenzin Tankong's "Sekool", the acclaimed short film on the Changpa Nomads of Ladakh, was screened at the launch of the theatre.