NEW DELHI: The farthest northeastern district of the country will soon be “integrated cinematically and culturally with the rest of India” as Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang is set to get its first cinema theatre on November 20. The heavily-fortified border district, which remains in limelight for faceoffs with Chinese troops, will soon get a 80-seat theatre for a population of nearly 50,000 people.
“Jadooz, which targets small and remotest cities of the country, will open its first fully-air-conditioned screen with a high-end virtual reality facility in Tawang. The theatre will not only be used for screening movies but will also double up as a platform for virtual teaching classes as each seat will have a cordless microphone and a camera for interactive sessions to bridge the education gap,” Rahul Nehra, founding managing director of startup Jadooz, which plans to open seven screens in Arunachal in coming years, told TOI.
It is quite an irony that Arunachal Pradesh, which is a treasure trove of cultural diversity and traditions and famous for monasteries, currently has just 3-4 small theatres, including one in Itanagar, but none in Tawang. In fact, Arunachal movie ‘Water Burial’, whose storyline was based on a dark ritual of a local tribe, won the best film award on environment conservation at the 67th National Films Awards 2021.
“The screen, built at a cost of Rs 35 lakh within two months during the pandemic period, will provide entertainment to the local population at a cheaper price. Unlike expensive theatres and multiplexes in big cities, the Tawang theatre will sell tickets for just Rs 100 but will provide quality entertainment,” Rahul Nehra said, while adding that Jadooz targets to open 11 screens in Arunachal and Assam together. Soon, Tawang will also get to watch the latest Bollywood movies as this theatre will have the facility of ‘first day, first show’, he said. “Currently, 50 Jadooz screens are either under development or ready for launch across the country, and we plan to open 1,000 screens by December 2026,” he told TOI.
In India, there are less than 10,000 single movie screens, mostly confined to cities — which means only one screen for every one lakh Indians. So, over 90% of India is devoid of any entertainment destination. “Jadooz wants to bridge this gap as it is building entertainment zones mostly in tier-2 and tier-3 towns and villages. Its aim is to provide entertainment with the feel of a multiplex at a convenient location and affordable price to the hinterland,” the startup founder said.




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