Raj Mandir cinema is the jewel in the Indian cinema circuit.
This huge deluxe art deco/moderne confection was opened in 1976
in Jaipur, Rajhasthan.
It has played to full houses ever since, with many a Bollywood film
making its premier screening here. If you are in town, you must go
quite regardless of whatever is screening!
The exterior beckons like a spaceship, or some kind of time travel
device that will transport us back to a mythical era of elegance and aesthetic paradise.
The lobby is extremely opulent ,chandeliers abound and huge sweeping ramps
transport patrons to the heavens (ie. the balcony!), sumptuous plush communal
seating areas and deep carpets invite one to arrive early and mingle in the
turquiose and pink pastels
Inside the meringue-shaped auditorium the seats swallow you up like quicksand
and the meringue glowers through the colour spectrum during intervals, lending
a womb-like atmosphere to proceedings.
It reminds me of a cinema trip that never quite happened in my childhood, or
perhaps occured during an earlier incarnation in 1920s New York!?
Thoroughly over-the-top and all the better for it!