An excited crowd greeted superstar Shah Rukh Khan at Delhi’s PVR Anupam Saket on Thursday. Khan was in the capital to mark the temporary closing ceremony of India’s first multiplex before it undergoes renovation.
“Sorry I am late… not because of me but because of the traffic. So I am not going to complain about it,” was his excuse to the media that was waiting for him to show up, and which evoked spurts of laughter in admiration of his wit.
“It was my life’s dream to own a movie theatre in a five-star hotel. But now I believe that all the PVRs are mine… I saw myself on screen first time through the raw footage for Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman (1992).”
According to him, he wasn’t looking good and had not acted well compared to the other stalwart cast members. He had almost decided to quit acting, but his colleagues convinced him otherwise.
“I only come to Delhi for friendship and love. I can never behave like a star here as everyone treats me like one of their own,” said the Delhi-born and bred Khan. Incidentally, on Friday, the star received accolades for his presence on David Letterman’s show, titled My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, on Netflix.
On cinema-going as an activity, he mused, “‘Hum akele ro nahi sakte, hum akele has nah sakte, (We can’t cry or laugh alone) and as long as that is true for humanity, we are going to prosper.” Ajay Bijli, Chairman and Managing Director, PVR Limited, talked about why he brought King Khan to the venue to announce the renovation.
“We opened this theatre in June 1997. As it was a joint venture with an Australian company, I was told to play English movies. I decided to listen to them in the first year of the business. When Yes Boss was announced, and as the movie title was in the English language, I decided to play it. I thought to myself if I ever revamp this place, I would request Shah Rukh Khan to come.”
Sanjeev Kumar Bijli, Joint Managing Director, PVR Limited, remembers how they struggled a lot internally to decide the price of the tickets. “We kept it at `75. We will now upgrade the iconic theatre with all the latest equipments in terms of seating, sound, projection systems and along with food and beverages.”
Journalist Smita Tripathi, recounted her time at the landmark theatre that she’d frequent during her college days by coming all the way from Delhi University to Saket.
“I still recognise many of the vendors here. One can easily compare this place to Khan Market of the now. But as other theatres came up, this one lagged behind. I am waiting to see the new version, as I have a lot of memories here,” said Tripathi
The plan is to relaunch PVR Saket on April 1, 2020.