“I have done this fifty times—hundreds of times—…in my daydreams. I am in a dream now.” (Eliza Doolittle, Pygmalion by G.B.Shaw).
This was exactly the dream-like experience that I received in Raj Mandir cinema hall where I went to watch 3 Idiots on my trip to Rajasthan. Having heard of the reviews from all and sundry, I didn’t want to miss the movie. Hence, despite the well-deserved reputation that Rajasthan boasts of for its rich culture and heritage, I took some time out to watch this movie. I am glad I did. And I am glad that I had planned the trip around this time itself. All this not because of the movie, which I failed to enjoy, but because of the sheer magnificence of Raj Mandir cinema hall.
The hall reminds one of those theatres that one reads about in literary classics. The grand foyer with its unique lighting system enchants anyone who visits the hall. The architectural beauty of the building is further multiplied by the beautiful chandeliers in the ceilings and the wooden and glass work of the towering walls. It clearly reflects the skillful workmanship of the workers led by Shri W.M.Namjoshi. The rising staircase in the south side of the adds further to the enchanting sight.
Being a dream work of Shri Mehtab Chandra Golcha, the hall truly sends one in a state of trance. Golcha wanted a cinema hall which would transcend boundaries of traditional cinema and treat its audience with style and elegance. Shri Golcha truly actualized his dream, for every audience moving out of the cinema hall, like me, discussed and praised the hall more than the movie.
Capable of accommodating around 1300 people, Raj Mandir is often referred to as the Pride of Asia. Inaugurated in 1976, Raj Mandir has witnessed many movie premieres over the years and is now a tourist spot in Jaipur.