TWIN CINEMA, MOHALI, PUNJAB
Architect: Sarbjit Singh Bahga, Chandigarh
The Bassi Cinema Complex is the first twin-screen venue in the Chandigarh region. It is located on an island site in a neighborhood shopping Centre of Sector-53, Shibzada Ajit Singh Nagar--a satellite town of Chandigarh. Access to the two cinemas is through different entrances at either end of the building. Car parking space is provided in the open sub-basement. Within the one building, two parallel auditoria are designed with reverse orientation--in other words, siting the screens at opposite ends of the building. Unlike the usual multiscreen arrangement of common front of house areas and a shared projection cabin, the scheme was selected as it would facilitate easy ingress and egress of large audience numbers from the two halls through two completely separate foyer areas.
Each auditorium contains 1,000 seats in stalls and a small balcony. To isolate the cinemas acoustically, a gap was left between the two, which is utilized for stairs and ramps connecting the two separate foyer areas at either end of the building. Double height passages along both exterior side walls further insulate the auditoria from external noise. Though the lower stalls and balconies have their independent foyers yet their visual oneness has been maintained by providing double-height voids, which together with crisscrossing ramps and bridges provide pleasant areas for audience perambulation.
Of reinforced concrete with exposed shuttering marks, the massive rectangular structure is raised above ground level on cylindrical piloti. Around the perimeter, these are extended upwards as columns in front of large, deeply recessed areas of undulatory glazing and panels for attraction posters. The external expression of the gigantic cuboid measuring 75 x 53 x 17 metres echoes the Corbusian style of architecture. Being located in the vicinity of master architects Capital City of Chandigarh, the building is envisaged as a humble tribute to Mon. Le Corbusier. By virtue of its bold and simple form, Bassi Cinema Complex is acting as an important landmark in the urban settlement of S.A.S. Nagar.
The design of the twin cinemas has been evolved strictly according to the requisite technicalities vis-à-vis viewing angles, film projections, slopes in auditorium and balcony floors, seating spaces etc. the projector rooms, rewinding rooms, film stores etc., have been kept at the topmost level for effective segregation from the public. Currently, the cinema is equipped with 70mm Westrex projectors and Ultra stereo sound; the latter will be soon upgraded to a Dolby system.