Before I go suggesting unsolicited ideas to major movie theater corporations I thought to come ask you fine folk first... I want my local theater, which happens to be a Bollywood-friendly Regal Cinema, to do a once a month screening of a classic Bollywood movie. I know I would LOVE to see some of the movies that I've only seen on a little TV finally on the big screen, and I hope the NRIs in the area would get a big nostalgic kick to do the same. I'd suggest the classics or popular movies- Sholay, Mother India, Mr. India, Mughal-e-azam, DDLJ, Bobby, Agneepath, Amar Akbar Anthony just to name a few. I'd also like to see Devdas and Lagaan but those might be a bit too new. I really think with a bit of easy local advertising this would be a big hit with the local communities. So - I don't want to sound like a complete idiot, but even if a theater were so inclined to do this, is it even possible to obtain a copy in good enough quality to show on a big screen in the US? I know that film preservation in India is probably spotty and sporadic and not consistently documented so this all may be a pipe dream.
Last Edit: Feb 21, 2014 21:11:27 GMT by dreamygirl
I don't know a lot about film preservation in India, but I do know Mughal-e-azam was restored in conjunction with the colorization job that was done about...5-7 years ago? There are also occasional festival showings of Raj Kapoor or Sayajit Ray classics, and of Mother India. And Sholay was restored for the 3D/stereosound version that released in India a few months ago. Those would probably be the best bet for finding theater quality versions.
The chain/franchise theaters that show current Bollywood films basically do so through agreements with the companies who buy the rights to distribute the movies overseas (I found out more about this than I needed to last summer when I wanted to know for a fact, a couple weeks in advance, whether a particular movie would be shown at "my" Bollyfriendly theater). They're unlikely to do a one-off or one-weekend showing at one theater of an older movie in response to viewer lobbying. Your best bet would maybe be to keep an eye out for upcoming releases of older films, like the recent Love in Bombay ("lost" 1970s film surfacing and being released) or Sholay 3D situations, and then suggesting, to the highest ranking theater employee you can find, that the theater show that film when it releases. If you can rope other Bollyviewers who visit the same theater into asking as well, so much the better. I'm also pretty sure Regal's website has a suggestion box, and since basically you'd be asking them to consider releasing a particular movie at all their Bolly-friendly theaters, it might be worth asking there too.
The kind of small locally owned theater that shows Indian films because the local community wants it might be more open to the concept than the chain would be, but they would likely have fewer of the industry contacts needed to track down good film prints.
Odadune, I had replied to you, but it is not showing up... Thanks for the insight ~ I think I will take your suggestion to make a suggestion on Regal's website. Although, I am pretty sure distribution rights, spotty film preservation and financial viability will keep this idea just an idea. But I'll still make an effort. It doesn't hurt to try and it may just work!