Wednesday, July 18, 2007


[Again, compiled from memory, which were discussed elsewhere... and copied here]

I must have been 5-6 years young when my late uncle had taken me to the nearby theatre [Ganesh Talkies] to watch "Absent Minded Professor". A few scenes from this are still fresh in my memory. That movie was about the forgetful professor who was a genuis and keeps inventing things. One of his inventions was [in that story] called "Flubber". He drops a piece of flubber and it keeps on bouncing higher and higher all over the place. That gives him many ideas and he tries it in various applications like shoe soles, car tires... he plays a game of basketball using those flubber shoes and none can catch him as he bounces higher than all players while bouncing the ball and 'slam dunks' all his shots from high above! That was very funny! Another scene is that his car is in flight like an aeroplane! I'd love to see this movie again, if at all it is available anywhere since this is my first memory of watching a movie in a theatre. I think some movies in our local language Kannada also were seen, but this seems to be my first - at least as far as I can remember. It was a great hit in that era for its stunts and tricks and the impression it had created among the public. To any of those that forgot anything he was labeled or called as Absent Minded Professor . Such was its popularity. Anybody remember this movie by any chance? It was also the time in the early sixties when English movies had become popular in our city.

The darkness of theatres, the ushers coming in to show late-comers their seats [sometimes a nuisance when he came blocking the view of the big screen], the news part, the highlights of the upcoming movie, the advertisements [very few].... then when smoking inside the hall was not disallowed, it created such an awful smell. I remember when I was a bit grown up, may be I was about 10-12, I had got suffocated inside the theatre and had forced my aunt and mom to quit at intermission as my breathlessness was quite unbearable. It was a good movie [Arunodaya, kannada movie taken esp. for children] and my mom even remembers my act which they thought was a drama. We could not go to watch that movie again. That sort of drama I used to make when I did not want to go to school, too. That was the reputation that made them not to get fully convinced. Not knowing how to express it, I complained of 'stomach ache'!

We did not have people serving inside during intermission, but people went out to the passages where snacks or coffee were sold.

Another movie I remember was "Sound of Music". Very vaguely. I remember it was full of songs. I think it came in the second half of the sixties.

We used to go to theatres when a good movie came. It was a great occasion to visit a theatre - usually many from the familly or friends went together. It was one of the very few sources of entertainment. Mysore can boast of theatres dating back to the 1940s. Kannada and Hindi movies too were shown in most theatres, but a few had 'specialized' in getting English films. There were four shows per day. Morning show, Matinee, Evening show and Night show. Our normal choices were morning or matinee.

The light rays from the projector to the screen was a pleasurable sight! We used to lift our heads up to see them change as the scenes changed and wondered how it came from and looked at the little window of the projector room behind us.

The theatre I saw Absent Minded Professor has also been torn down. I had later come to know that it belonged to a classmate's father. I was to meet that classmate 3 decades later just by chance when I visited another old friend opposite his house. He told me that the person that owned that theatre was there and I met him -luckily he was home. When I asked him about his plans he said he had an idea of building a shopping complex. That was the theatre where we had seen many English movies in later years. I have some of the tickets preserved from my older years just for memory's sake.

In another movie of our local language Kannada, I remember a particular scene where a poor boy who is spiritually energetic bakes a pancake on his back for another poor boy. I must have been six or seven by then and this scene has just stuck.

In the olden days, bed bugs was a problem not only in homes but also in theatre seats. They had coir cushion seats - foam had not yet been introduced. It was heaven to those little blood suckers. We boys wearing shorts used to scratch our thighs by intermission time. We'd have already donated blood to them by then! It also used to ride with people into their homes to infest there too. It was a problem. When seats were renovated in most theatres gradually with the passing of time and availablility of good cushions and upholstery, this was solved.

Horror movies are always out for us. Comedy comes first. I have just loved Laurel and Hardy movies. CharlieChaplin. My all-time favourite. I never get tired watching them. I do not remember at what age I must have seen them first.


Madhukar - VU2MUD said...

I think we can add "Hatari" to that list at Gayathri Theatre. I remember the scene of the rhino chasing and banging the jeep. That was with our uncle.

Dinakar KR said...

Correct! Kitti had taken us.