Chennai – 600029.

Daily 4 shows – II [ Chennai : 600029 ].

This post is dedicated to Kathirvel – my only friend from ‘Arumbakkam’ area.

The period is set between 1981-85 [ 1st to 5th std – Skipped 2nd std – double promotion 🙂 ]. I was taken [ obviously ! ] by one or the other senior at home. Everyone had their own way of watching movies. My father used to take me to Sivaji / Kamal/ K.Viswanath/ KB/ Vittalacharya [ u know what – V.Acharya is a Kannadiga ] kind of movies. My mother had her own circle of friends. My chithappa and his friends were the film freaks who took me to the cinemas, most of the time.

Director Vincent Selva [ Selvam ] was my classmate’s elder brother; they stayed just 6 houses next to us, in Aminjikarai. V.Selva was a good artist. He drew us a few pictures on our science notebook. I used to watch ‘olliyum oliyum’ and Sunday movies in his home [ BW Solidaire with sliding doors – Remember Subramaniapuram TV 🙂 ].


Lakshmi theater is an important landmark of Aminjikarai and it’s a small world on its own. It has so many small shops, lodge and the theatre behind. It’s the bus stop too. Lakshmi has been the same since my childhood days. The same 2nd quality pictures used to come [ even now ]. We watched Sakalakalavallavan, Thanga magan, Thalaimagan, Pudhuk kavithai, uyirullavarai usha, Bhaktha pragalatha, Shaan, Payanangall mudivathillai, Mann vasanai etc here.

For “Sakalakala vallavan”, my mother took me daily to Lakshmi and we returned without tickets. We were successful on the 3rd day. I am curious to see how this theatre is now. But it’s still screening the best possible junk in the list.


It’s the class A theatre for Chennai-600029 people. The good thing is that it’s close to Lakshmi so that we can easily choose between these standing in front of Palace or Gowri Shankar hotel. I ve seen the Nenjathai Killadhe, Theeradha villayaatu pillai, Paayum puli, Naalai unadhu naall, Thoongathe thambi thoongathe, Nanayam illadha Nanayam [ இந்த‌ ப‌ட‌த்தை எடுத்த‌வ‌ங்க‌ளே ம‌ற‌ந்திருப்பாங்க‌ 🙂 – First screen appearance of Judo Rathnam ]. I have collected all these useless trivia and became a blogger. Ha..ha..

Once, my father grabbed me out of my tamil exam [ half-yearly ] in my 4th std. I didn’t have the least clue about where I was running towards. My father took me to “Muralikrishna” theatre and we went in – some news reel was going on with Indra gandhi speaking something furiously in hindi [ Most of the times, I remember seeing “Neenga nallaa irukkOnum” MGR song before movies]. The movie was Salangai Oli. I still remember the large banner where Kamal bows his head to the ground level and watching the dancing foot.I was madly dancing [ நென‌ப்பு தான்.. ! ] the next 2 weeks.


We were taken to this theatre in a short cut from the back side of Vellala street [ too many buffaloes 🙂 ] passing on the koovam wooden bridge to the theatre directly. Pazhaniappa is the 3rd class theatre [ the theatre started it’s operation with “Pallaandu Vaazhga” ] – you can understand by the list of movies. Thooral ninnu pochu, malaiyur mambatiyaan [ Hindi remake Rajini’s ‘Gangwar’ was screened in Ega –ஐயா.. ஸாமி ஆளை விடு.. நீயும் உன் த‌க‌வ‌லும்.. 🙂 ].

Ellaam inba mayam – The best of those times. In return after 27 years, I took my father to Dasavatharam in PVR – Bangalore. Ellaam inba mayam was far better. மாம‌ன் வூடு ம‌ச்சு வூடு.. ப‌ரிச‌ம் போட்ட‌து குச்சு வூடு 🙂

I never wonder why I remember all these things. There are only 2 ways to remember a thing – either you like it very much or you do it repeatedly [ once I read this in Kumudam ]. I like cinema – simple.

Ega and Sangam were high class theatres and we used to visit them, once in a blue moon. I skipped Sindhu Bhairavi [ in Ega ] and watched Mard [ later remade by Rajini as Maaveeran in Tamil ]. I watched Velaikaran, Andha 7 natkal, African Safari, My dear Kuttichathan in Ega.

GRAND- I have seen only one movie – Lolita [ 1997 ] directed by Adrian Lyne. Don’t get afraid that I have mentioned about the director – Wrong n atractive posters technology :). Anna nagar badly needs a Theatre – I still wonder why none has tried building a theatre there.

My friend Crankx watched 3 shows in a day in the same Abirami theatre complex. :). The sad thing – Roxy has been demolished and getting replaced by Saravana stores. People are too busy in buying rather than spending time with family in entertainment. Too busy to fill up gas :).



  1. on behalf of Irshad Bhai, i register a strong protest- he was staying in Aminjikarai itself for a few years , very close to the theaters mentioned by u. after that they shifted to Arumbakkam SBI staff colny, same area where Kathir too lived/Irshaad's family was quite a compulsive movie watching group.they loved the film outings a lot.even after kathir shifted to his own house at Villivakkam, Irshad's family continued for a few more years at Arumbakkam/Our collegemate Muthukumar's family was in MMDA and according to his family, they could see the buses on Poonamalle high road from MMDA market area! later in 1995 i too joined the arumbakkam jothi when i stayed in NSK Nagar for 2 years and MMDA for a further 4 years! Krishna and me were mostly present in Irshaad's home in SBI staff colony! Hmmmm, adhellaam oru inimayana kanaak kaalam nga!

  2. Visu,

    Superb post….Funnily for the past 10years I am living next to Nadhamuni theatre in villivakkam….around 11pm when traffic ceases, we can hear music, fight scene noises from our balcony….But till date I have not gone to the theatre…

    Infact it is not too bad….it screens relatively new movies….Villu, Vel and most of the Sundar C movies were screneed on day 1 like any premium theatres….shelf life of movie here is just one week….every friday there is a new release….

    I remember watching a movie "Emerald Forest" with group of classmates from school….famous for its sleazy scenes then….Cant remember which theatre…..

    With IRshaad, when both were in school final year, we cut class and went to woodlands theatre to watch BIG ZAPPER….I came back in cycle with irshaad behind me till new college….after that he took 24A and came to Aminjikarai and home…so that no body suspects us….Year was Circa 1987

  3. Thanks Visu, as always your blogs are nice to read… it brought back lots of old memories….

    As Rajan mentioned I stayed in Aminjikarai (sunnambu kalvai theru) equi-distant from Palaniyappa and Lakshmi theatre…..
    I have seen loads of movies in all the 3 theatres. Some of the movies I could remember are Naan Sigappu Manidhan, Mudhal Mariyadhai, Shaolin Temple, Thanga Magan etc etc….

    Seen quite a few movies in Grand as well, Blame it on Rio being one of the most memorable one. I had it twice in 2 days in Albert liked it so much
    when it was released in Grand went with Kathir.

    I have been a film buff till 1992, used to see not less than 3 movies a week even during exam time. When we do a exam well (which is a rarity) used to celebrate by going to theatre. When we don't do a exam well, we go for a movie to clear our minds. I used to watch Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam (only bit movies), English, Tamil and at times Kannada language movies. I used to
    be a interpret to my friends for Hindi, Malayalam and Telugu movies. I had never looked into the intricacies, characterization and technical details
    of the movies, just watched movies for entertainment purpose alone. When
    interacting with Kathir, Kris and Rajan before I met you, used to wonder how they have seen things which I was unable to but after interacting with you and getting to know about your knowledge level I am simply amazed. Keep
    up the good work of imparting cinematic knowledge to people like me.

    I am unable to post it as a comment in the blog, would appreciate if you can do it for me.

  4. Thanks a ton to Rajan, Kathir and Irshaad for sharing your experiences. That was really interesting. It's a delight to appreciate things and share them. Thanks once again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.