The pride of Panchkula succumbs to the multiplex era.
Located in Panchkula, one of the richest cities in Punjab, Suraj cinema is trapped in an irony. Launched around two decades ago, the singleplex has since evolved into screening mainstream Hindi and Punjabi films. Still, it is barely able to sustain itself.
Vipan Kumar Jain, Director of Suraj, admits, “We cannot recover basic expenses like maintenance costs and salary expenses of employees. But we are doing our best to keep the cinema in good condition.”
The property, spread across 25,000 sq ft, is located at the entrance to the city close to the main market as well as the highway and other amenities. This singleplex has a bright colour palette; it is clean and tidy and includes plush facilities for movie buffs.
Unlike earlier, when Suraj catered to families and a high-end audience, it now serves mainly students and the working class.
The vivacious and simple façade makes the property look appealing. With a chic appearance, the complex lights up gaily at night. The lobby is subtle and bathes the building in a pleasant ambience.
Suraj has a state-of-the-art sound system at par with current standards. Unlike most other single-screens, which are equipped with a standard sound system, Suraj has Dolby digital surround sound and a 70-mm capable screen.
Divided into Balcony and Upper Stalls, ticket rates are Rs 70 and Rs 50 respectively. The total seating capacity is 965.
While the canteen has excellent service, the property also has ample parking space for all types of vehicles. Beckoning patrons inside is a cream facade decorated with film posters. Inside, a box-office counter displays show timings and ticket prices, and pale walls and a marbled floor lend the place a lively look.
There are many multiplexes in Panchkula, each one contributing to this single-screen’s downfall. The first multiplex to open here was Fun Cinemas and the most recent being Fame.