Movie tickets can get quite expensive these days, especially during the opening weekends of major releases where prices can go up to Rs. RMB 1,000 per ticket, depending on theater and format. Anyone who’s struggled lately to buy tickets and attend the big “Pappenheimer” event in 2023 will know what a bargain it can be, especially if you’ve seen Oppenheimer’s show in an IMAX theater, and that’s before you even think about it The price of popcorn or any other snack.

High costs are usually associated with large theater chains, and there are plenty of affordable theaters in every major city in India. There’s really no pressure to shell out big bucks for movie tickets if you don’t want to, and I decided to try both options while watching “Barbie and Oppenheimer” over two weekends. Anecdotally, I’ve found that maybe paying more is worth it after all – let me explain why.

Barbie vs Oppenheimer Features

barbie in affordable theaters

I started with Barbie and chose an old but somewhat modern multi-screen theater in Mumbai to see Greta Gerwig’s films. Modernization was accomplished by turning the former single-screen theater into a three-screen multiplex with improved decor. . There’s also a touch of nostalgia here, as the snack counter serves the same sandwiches and popcorn as I’ve had since my college days, at fairly reasonable prices.

Where this theater has kept up with the times, however, is the lack of upgrades in terms of projectors, screen size, and seating. Even watching a two hour movie, the chairs are somewhat uncomfortable and the screen is arguably small, not (comparatively speaking) better than watching a movie on a 43″ TV in a large living room. The projector is dim and lacks clarity, making the viewing experience rather lackluster. The movie wasn’t bad and worth watching, but overall I was a little disappointed with the experience.

Many people probably don’t care too much about these technical flaws; you’re here for the movie itself, and the reasonably priced tickets and snacks will certainly make your time there even better. The whole experience cost me Rs. Tickets are around 270 rupees. Friday night, 300 yuan per person, eat a lot of snacks.

imax pvr inox internal Imax

Oppenheimer in IMAX theaters

“Watch Oppenheimer the way Christopher Nolan intended” has been a key buzzword for the film’s release, and indeed, Universal has gone to great lengths to ensure the film is available on IMAX screens in India and globally. Gautam Dutta, co-CEO of PVR Inox Ltd., said: “Films like Oppenheimer are best viewed on IMAX screens for a vibrant and immersive experience, only at a certain angle (director) preferred seat) will only get better.”

I saw the film at one of the few IMAX screens in Mumbai, arguably one of the best in the city after the closure of the iconic IMAX Dome in Vadara, Mumbai. It’s a modern theater with large modern screens (including a huge IMAX screen where I watched movies), laser projections, and comfortable seats.

The different heights of the seats ensure that the person in front of you doesn’t block your view, and assuming you’re not sitting too close to the screen, you don’t even have to crane your neck to watch. Plus, the viewing experience is actually as good on the sides of the theater as it is in the center. Needless to say, the technological experience of watching this film is far superior to my old technology of watching Barbie in theaters.

However, this technologically superior viewing experience pays off significantly in the fare. Priced at up to Rs. Saturday morning shows cost Rs 1,000 per ticket, and if you want to book the more popular evening shows, the price can be higher (approximately Rs 1,400 per ticket). For reference, a full month of Netflix Premium costs less than a single ticket.

Snacks are also a bit more expensive; popcorn costs Rs. 510 a big bathtub, and then have lunch. There’s really no justification for the high prices for the snacks, but it’s all part of the “premium” experience and has to do with the fact that if you want to eat or drink, you don’t really have a choice during intermission.

Pay more for a better experience

After these two very different theater experiences, I can’t help but feel that paying more for the better experience is worth it. As a streaming fan and Gadgets360’s TV reviewer, I usually have access to a big TV and watch great content on it, so the theater viewing experience is usually reserved for the most important releases, early access and on TV. Big screens make all the difference.

The cost of an IMAX experience is several times that of an old theater (especially if you factor in the cost of food and drink), but in my opinion, the superior technical offerings justify that price. These costs can add up quickly if you go to the theater once a week. However, if you do go to the cinema occasionally, my advice is that you choose better theaters, IMAX if possible, and spend your money to get the best experience possible. If you really want to save money, ditch the overpriced popcorn.

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