Life never ceases to surprise!
A trip to the stunningly beautiful Jashpur district in the northern part of Chhattisgarh looked promising because the region is blessed with natural beauty and abundant rain during monsoons.
One was particularly looking forward because it was an opportunity to take a break from the scorching heat of Delhi.
Jashpur certainly did not disappoint. The three-hour drive from Ambikapur to Jashpur was a treat to eyes. Lush green field, rocky hills, and rain. It was pure bliss.
But what turned out to be the best part of the short official trip was Picture Time. Next, to the hotel, our team was staying, was a huge makeshift structure with `Picture Time’ written on it. Curiosity took us there.
We met Nitin, in charge of Picture Time, who told us it was a collapsible theatre meant for regions where there are no cinema halls. The Chinese-made structure was transported to Jashpur some four months ago and put up at an open space after taking due permission from the authorities.
It will be there until December when it moves to some other place.
The fully air-conditioned theatre can accommodate 100 plus people at a time. The screen is big and clear and the sound system comparable to any movie theatre in a big city. There are comfortable chairs and the ticket only Rs 80 per head.
The portable theatre is owned by a Delhi-based entrepreneur who has named it Picture Time. The crew and entire theatre travel to far off places to provide entertainment. The paraphernalia comprises the structure, ACs, toilets, screen, music system and power back up.
The structure is fire resistant and, thus, very safe. There is enough space in the van for the staff. The economic model is also interesting. Other than charging audience for watching the movies, the tent or the theatre is also rented out to private companies for advertising and there are many multinational companies who often hire the theatre to showcase their products.
Indeed a wonderful idea to provide entertainment to the lakhs of people for whom facilities and infrastructure do not come as an entitlement.