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Friday, September 17, 2021

PVR Priya, once a popular haunt, gets new look

PVR Priya: The cinema hall has been around since 1978 and was renovated earlier in 1990. It shut down completely some months prior to the Covid pandemic.

Written by Ektaa Malik | New Delhi |
Updated: August 27, 2021 12:30:21 pm
The swanky new theater was inaugurated Wednesday evening by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. (Express photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

The grey facade of the recently renovated and revamped PVR Priya, now called PVR Priya (XL), has all the trappings of a glitzy destination for movie goers. Added to the mix are two projectors, with beaming technology, to serve the 316-seater theater.

The swanky new theater was inaugurated Wednesday evening by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The cinema hall has been around since 1978 and was renovated earlier in 1990. It shut down completely some months prior to the Covid pandemic.

But the new ‘PVR Priya XL’ is no patch on the PVR Priya of the early 2000s, which was the hangout spot of the ‘popular kids’ and students from the neighbouring Jawaharlal Nehru University. Back then, the cinema hall, located in the Basant Lok Complex, offered a Rs 100 ticket for a 10 am show, which was availed the most by the almost-broke student community that lived in the neighbouring urban villages of Munirka, Katwaria Sarai, and Jia Sarai.

Delhi priya cinemas The swanky new theater was inaugurated Wednesday evening by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

While Basant Lok housed gourmet food store Le Marche on one side, it also had numerous hole-in-the-wall eateries, and street vendors who sold lip-smacking fare at pocket-friendly prices. The complex had something for everyone.

By 2010, the action had shifted to the AC malls, and single-screen theatres had been reduced to being a ‘novelty experience’. As the crowds departed for greener pastures, the whole of Basant Lok too fell into disarray. Many stores shut down and PVR Priya lost its charm.

priya cinema delhi With PVR Priya getting an upgrade, the complex too sports a new look with night lamps dotting the walkway to the theater. (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

With PVR Priya getting an upgrade, the complex too sports a new look with night lamps dotting the walkway to the theater.

“The new redefined Priya is a one of its kind premium commercial hub designed to bring back the lost glory and identity of the once thriving public place. It has always been PVR’s endeavor to adopt the best of global practices in the Indian context. ‘Placemaking’ too is an innovative and successful people-centred approach widely used around the globe by experts for transforming and reinventing public spaces in cities that meet basic human needs where citizens feel engaged,” said Sanjeev Kumar Bijli, Joint Managing Director, PVR Ltd in a statement.

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