DDLJ runs at occupancy of 200-300 people; Maratha Mandir’s Manoj Desai says, ‘Surviving only on this one show’
Whenever we talk about iconic Bollywood films, one of the first names to pop in our heads is Aditya Chopra’s evergreen Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. Featuring and Kajol in the lead, this romantic-drama released in 1995 and is still being shown in Mumbai’s Maratha Mandir cinema for over 25 years. Unfortunately, the theatre owners had to stop the screening last year because of the COVID-19 lockdown, but they have now resumed showing the film from November 2020.
Ever since the Maharashtra government granted permission to reopen the theatres with 50 percent seating capacity a couple of films released in cinema halls. However, most of them have been struggling to bring back the audience to the big screens. Having said that, DDLJ still manages to gather its loyal audience. Manoj Desai, Executive Director of G7 Multiplex & Marathi Mandir informs Pinkvilla that they register an occupancy of 200 to 300 people every day even now for the 11:30 am show.
“We started screening Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge again in Maratha Mandir from November. On a daily basis, we get an occupancy of around 200 to 300 people (total theatre capacity of 1100). Nothing else is really working in the other shows of Maratha Mandir, so we are surviving only on this one show. We take all the necessary precautions and make people sit alternately. We even see a slight increase in the audience during the weekend,” says Desai, adding that the business has improved further after the recent release of Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi starrer Master.
Interestingly, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’s ticket rates in Maratha Mandir have also remained the same over the years. As of now they charge Rs 30 for Balcony, Rs 25 for Dress Circle and Rs 20 for the Stall tickets. The film largely revolves around Raj Malhotra’s (Shah Rukh Khan) attempt to impress Simran Singh’s (Kajol) father (Amrish Puri) to let him marry his daughter.
DDLJ marked 25 years of release in October 2020. However, no celebrations could be done because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prod Desai if they have plans to celebrate the milestone now and he responds, “No. Even if that happens Aditya Chopra and Rani Mukerji will do it. There are no plans to celebrate as of now. Also, at this point we can’t even do it because you have to arrange everything in half the capacity of the theatre.”