Urvashi cinema : Where technology meets entertainment

One thing that I really love about Hyderabad and Vijayawada is the cinema experience. Most of the theaters adopted 70mm format and the screens are absolutely huge. Add to that powerful DTS/Dolby systems and huge two level auditorium (first class and balcony). When I came to Bangalore in 2003 for a training, I went to Urvashi Theater to watch ‘Matrix Reloaded’. I was dumbfounded at the size of the theater and the spine chilling sound stage.

Attack of the multiplexes

I don’t remember the exact year. I think it was in 2006 that I, like many fell for the glitter of multiplexes. Me and my friends used to go to these okayish movie theaters with ticket price at 50-60 bucks, pathetic seating, AC that doesn’t work. I completely forgot about Urvashi and had a feeling that it may not be much different to these theaters given the way that these theaters struggle to generate revenue after PVR, Inox etc raided Indian cinema. Whenever I used to go by Urvashi, I rememeber the movie ‘Matrix Reloaded’ and used to say ‘phew’. Another problem was with the way tickets are sold in these theatres. Without online booking (at that time), one had to rely on pushing and running to get the tickets and that is something that I really hate.

Then came the multiplex revolution in Bangalore. Book the tickets online, no waiting in long queues, courteous staff, super clean theaters, comfortable seating and colorful atmosphere. Like many, I fell for the experience before the start of the movie and after the ending. Then again, every time I go and watch a movie in Hyderabad or Vijayawada, I feel when I will get such theaters in Bangalore.

First movie after marrriage

I got engaged in August 2010 but had to wait till June 2011 to watch movie with my wife. When Transformers: Dark of the moon was released, I went to bookmyshow.com to book tickets for this movie and I saw this advertisement showing Urvashi Cinema installing 4k Digital Projector and Meyer Sound. I had no clue at that time what they are and like any internet addict, I did a quick Googling and found out what I have been missing all these days. The experience was simply spectacular and there is only one genre of theaters that can match this experience, IMAX. I am not exaggerating. Many of my friends prefer going to Urvashi to watch a movie now. The first thing I check when I want to go to a movie is whether Urvashi is screening the movie or not. What makes it the best theater in Bangalore or rather the best non-IMAX theater in India?

Technology at Uvashi

Dual Christie 4k DLP 3D projectors:

DLP is already widely used in Indian cinema, especially at multiplexes. A DLP doesn’t need those reels. One can send the movie in a HDD or properitary discs or via satellite. This reduces productions costs a lot as the medium can be reused. For a viewer, a DLP projector provides clarity that cannot be matched by traditional reel based analogue projectors. A DLP is to a traditional projector, what a HDTV is to CRT. But most use a 2k DLP projector which supports resolution of 2048×1080 (2.2 MP at 24 or 48 fps). Urvashi on the other hand uses 4k DLP projector from Christie (CP4230, world’s first 4k digital cinema projector) which supports resolution of 4096×2160 (8.85 MP at 24 fps). This means that the 4K projector used by Urvashi cinema generates 4 times more pixels than a 2k projector used at most multiplex screens. Thanks to dual projection, watching 3D movie here is far more immersive than in any other theater in India.

Harkness Perlux 220 screen:

A high quality ultra-brightness screen that is designed with 3D digital projection in mind and works best with active shutter glasses. When compared to matte screens, this one has 120% more brightness, can produce much better contrast levels and also reduce the power consumption for projectors as it allows smaller lamps. This screen is best used for width greater than 66 feet. As it is paired with Christie 4k, the picture clarity is absolutely terrific and extremely detailed.

XpanD Active shutter 3D glasses:

Remember those weird looking glasses that are used to watch 3D movies? Most of the theaters using passive (polarized or non-polarized red-blue) glassed for 3D stereoscopy but Urvashi has implemented something else. Also known as Liquid Crystal shutter glasses, the glasses used by Urvashi for 3D cinema contains a special layer that can turn dark on applying voltage. The electronics built into the glasses. This on/off is done by sending a timing signal (using infrared or other radio mechanism) which is picked up by the glass’s electronics which turns the layer dark or transparent at an extremely high rate, usually in sync with screen’s refresh rate. Thanks to this alternate-frame sequencing technique, each eye gets to see only the frames that are intended for it. This on/off rate is so high that for us, these glasses feel like a normal glasses. If you are still wondering what these are, these are same type of glasses that Nvidia bundles with ‘3D vision’ kit. The huge advantage with this kind of glasses is that there will be no loss of color (unlike the red/blue passive glasses).

Datasat and Meyer Sound EXP:

The combination of Datasat, formerly cinema wing of DTS and Meyer Sound makes the audio spectacular and I assure you, you can feel the vibration. The following video shows the Meyer audio setup and Datasat processor while it was being setup:

Trust me, the audio quality is stunning. There is so much detail and it feels as if you are able to hear every damn sound generated. It truly is a mesmerizing experience. Shotgun sound from the opening scene of ‘The Dark Knight’ vibrates every single cell in my body while  the songs like ‘Nadaan Parindey’ and ‘Faya Kun’ from Rockstar made me sing along and feel as if I am sitting in the middle of a concert. It is deep, immersive and magical. While DTS and Dolby took movie experience to a different level (compared to the old audio setup), Meyer Sound took it to a whole new level.

1100 seats

Christie 4k DLP projector 4096 x 2160

Meyer sound with 79 speakers

Harkness Perlux 220 ultra bright 3D screen (56 feet x 28 feet)

XpanD active shutter 3D glasses

More than 5 crores spent to make this the best theater in India.

Maximum ticket price of 250/- (weekend shows, platinum class)

It is great to see that Urvashi had priced the tickets very well, even with all such expensive and unique setup. Had PVR or Inox had this setup, 250 would’ve been the minimum price for a ticket. When I go to Urvashi, I feel  the true ‘cinematic experience’. I had to go these multiplexes once in a while if that movie is not screened in Urvashi and I feel as if the sound is coming from a chinese made el-cheapo speaker set and thanks to couple of theaters glued to each other, the volume is kept so low that I might have to take an earpiece that is used by those with partial deafness. Except for the seating comfort, there is nothing at all. I wrote this post to create awareness among cinema lovers that one should pick a theater not by the ambiance of the theater but by looking at how a movie is played, how much of visual and aural treat a theater can provide. If you are in Bangalore, go to this theaer once and then go to any multiplex to watch the same movie and you will understand what I am talking about.


36 thoughts on “Urvashi cinema : Where technology meets entertainment

      • HI Bandla,

        Have you observed the screens of PVR and Cinepolis in KPHB hyderabad. Both theatres are good, though both of them use same projector, i feel cinepolis is bright, what is the pixel presentation.

      • There are still more , iam seeing movies at Urvashi theatre since 90s at that time only it was rated the best in Bangalore, Karnataka

  1. hi,last nite i felt very disappointed after watching amazing spider man at inox mantri.fyi im not from india.The sound system and screen were very mediocre.Im looking forward to watch the dark knight rises on 20th july at cinema that can give me bombastic experience.Im not going to ruin my nite at low quality cinema.When i read about your post,i believe urvashi can give me what im looking for.but how about cleanliness,ac,seats?????? btw thanks for your post so i dont need to go prasad imax at hyderabad=p

  2. I feel i am the only person on earth who will do Research and Analysis on cinema halls and their technology, seating arrangement.. etc etc. After seeing Bandla’s review, felt happy there is another guy like me. He is absolutely right about Uravashi cinema.
    I lived in US&UK for 10 yrs and few months back returned to Bangalore. I saw the movie Gabbarsing (Pavan kalyan) movie in Uravashi. WOW!!! this theater has amazing picture quality, huge screen and excellent sound system. Never had the great experienced like this in any theater in US & UK. Really i am not exaggerating. Only difference is, the theaters in US and UK are more clean and they provide FULL AC. If you ignore these 2 points , Uravashi theatre is the best one on earth.

    Here is my ratings:
    Huge Screen and Picture quality : 10/10
    Seating Arrangement(Very comfortable Seat) & Viewing Comfort : 10/10
    AC(Air conditioning): 7.5-8/10
    Cleanliness: 7.5-8/10
    Car Parking: 10/10
    Online ticket booking:10/10

    Final Verdict: Please watch movies in URASHI theater. Do not miss that experience.

    I booked the tickets for EEGA (SS Rajamouli) movie to see in Uravshi. Eagerly waiting to experience it in Uravashi.


  3. 100% true bandla….. I saw dark knight rises in REX (plz dont start scoldin me coz i dint know it was big TV kept there) on first day night show. I was expecting a lot from movie and it was really disappointing. But somehow i was not able to digest that Nolan movie would be that normal. So we went to URVASHI on next day night show. My intuision proved right and it was AWESOME. From then on i decided, if i have to watch a movie in Bangalore it has to be in URVASHI (Booked tickets for SKYFALL now). Multiplexes are actually built to show off and attract aunts 🙂

  4. URVASHI is like IMAX for Bangalore!! Excellent movie experience!! Excellent quality!! You know I am really disappointed at INOX, CINEPOLIS, PVR all the multiplexes charge high rate and offer poor quality Cinema! But URVASHI being a single screen offers an excellent move experience, for the money we pay. Hope it will even increase the screen size,even bigger!!!

  5. I have been a big fan of Urvashi for almost a decade now and I would have totally agreed with you last month. I still agree that most of the multiplexes in Bangalore are blown up television sets where overstressed middle-aged men go to sleep. But the new IMAX screen in PVR is astounding. I watched life of pi in 3d there and it took me sometime to get back to my senses. And I’m praising only the quality of video and audio there not the seating or the snacks (which shouldn’t matter much for a serious movie buff). They use what they call IMAX 3d which is the IMAX version of RealD 3D. It uses passive filters for glasses and hence are very light on your nose. And I didn’t notice any sort of contrast/brightness reduction or loss of colour compared to Urvashi. The only and a really bad thing about it is the price. 550 BUCKS!!!! I really wish Urvashi changes it’s screen to an IMAX and brings the equivalent of Prasad’s in Bangalore.

  6. Hi,
    Am looking for help in starting up a theater. Could you please help me with the contacts of people for the equipment, interiors, screens, etc which are used in a theater? Thanks for your time.

    • theater owners well invest on technology and they don,t know taste of the sound and melody if you want to hear melody of sound you should see the move in rockline in 4 th auditorium

  7. Ofcourse its a best amongst d theatres on world.but what worse n stupidity is being d theatre in Bangalore they r nt screening kannada movies…shame on their face…first solve this;->

    • Can’t agree with you more on this Mr Kumar…indeed,it’s a shame and this is the fact which really bothers or disturbs me a lot…Off late it has been playing lots of new release Telugu movies..they may be big budget movies but content wise all are same regular masala movies..There were talks, even in the newpapers that Sudeep’s ‘Bachchan’ would release there but that was just a bogus news. Sad to see this kind of attitude toward Kannada. Agreed most of the kannada movies are damp squib now a days but still once in a blue moon there comes a decent and moderate budget kannada film but they won’t play. I started to think that the theatre must be owned by some Telgaite given the rise in the release of many Telugu movies off late but the owner’s name is Mr Amit Gowda and he happens to be a kannadiga (atleast the surname suggests) and in an interview he said that it is not about money but his passion to run this theatre. Then why the hell it can’t show any Kannada movie. Indeed a shame. Not just Urvashi but many other better theatres in Bangalore don’t really show Kannada movies, they don’t play Kannada movies in Gold Class PVR either…Disgusting…Same is the scenario in my native Bellary too wherein the telegu movies get best there, kannada movies get all the god forsaken theaters..It just all about money, no respect or love for the language which is their own..Having said all this on thing for sure it is the best theatre in the city. Being a movie buff i have always cherised watching movies in single screen theatres and Urvashi is certainly the best of them all…only if is starts playing Kannada movies too, it would be icing on the cake…

  8. Ofcourse its a best amongst d theatres on world.but what worse n stupidity is being d theatre in Bangalore they r nt screening kannada movies…shame on their face…first solve this

  9. Absolutely right my friend…..i love the way the body vibrates with the stunning sound experience here…….the so called multiplexes are not even at 30% of this experience

  10. I watched Chennai Express movie on the weekend in Urvashi Theater, What a sound effect..it’s ultimate..now i watch all the movies in this theater…am very much impressed with the sound quality..thanks Bandla for providing a information on the theater.

  11. As all said, the best theatre in Karnataka. A picture with 2024×1024 size about 3MB imagine, Just imagine 2:30 hrs movie with 4096 x 2197 resolution how big size. Its equal to watching Blue ray movie in 32″ TV. same quality in big screens.

    Bad thing is 3D glasses provided is little weighty and uncomfortable for long duration it might be good in terms of hardness but not in wearing.

  12. Uurvashi has been my fav. theatre in Bangalore ever since I watched Agneepath(2012) there. Absolutely amazing. The only complaint is the heavy 3D glasses which are uncomfortable for long periods of time, and the toilets which are not enough for a theatre of that capacity. Seating is okay. If you can somehow use some cloth to protect your nose from the heavy glasses n avoid restrooms, this is the best. Even the food provided is of reasonable price.

  13. Yes Anil, even among all the movies I have watched at Urvashi (only one English so far being Spider Man 3 being my first ever movie not just at Urvashi but in Bangalore and that too on my very first day in the garden city) enjoyed watching Agneepath the most in 2012 and can not forget the audience reaction on Sanju Baba’s entry….it was just wowwwww

  14. Loved the way how Bandla has explained his experience with Urvashi. When i first came to Bangalore I went to PVR cinemas. As Bandla said I have to take an Ear Piece with me that the sound effect is very worst. If some one has the chance to visit Chennai, pls watch a Hollywood movie in SATHYAM Cinemas 70 mm Screen where ur seat will shake when the sound shatters the ground. Sathyam is the first Theatre to Introduce DLP Projectors in india still it rocks very similar to Urvashi

  15. Its a Known Fact. This is nothing new. They have one of the best AV setups than any body in India. I have been watching movies from past 40 years. Dolby setup was brought here in 1991 when the screened Thiruda Thiruda and later with Titanic. I too have watched movies in theaters round the globe but havent found this effect anywhere. You know these people shut down the theater very often for maintenance. I mean for upgradation. Any how hatsoff to them and if you get a chance to be in Bangalore, just give a try.

  16. “Urvashi” keeps pace with new technology making viewing cinema a thrilling experiece! 4K projection is simply excellent. Thanks for posting the details. Watching a movie in “Urvashi” is the best when compared to multiplexes in Bangalore.

  17. I got to know about urvashi theater after reading bandla’s report on urvashi theater today..and as said by bandla many people should prefer for urvashi than any other multiplexes …urvashi delivers a true cinema experience… Stunning screen clarity and pure rich sound in this theater …I have been to so many theaters and multiplexes and but I never thought there is a best cinema experience in urvashi and the movie I watched was “I” …thanks to urvashi and to bandhla on report on technology used in this theater…

  18. Urvashi has worst sound experience. Where you can hear only the effect and no dialogues. Most people are still under the assumption the more the sound that shakes your chair, its considered to be great sound experience. I watch the Dark Knight Rises no dialogue could be heard, only effect could be heard. Urvashi is not as great as it is to be considered.

    • My personal experience is dialogues were perfectly audible along with shaking chair. Let me also tell you this, few weeks back i watched Bahubali (Tel) movie two times in two different theaters one is Mxnxsx Digital (4K) and second time in Urvashi I can clearly make out the audio experience. You saying “Dark Knight Rises” you couldn’t hear dialogues right I had same experience in my home Theater too. I couldn’t able to hear dialogues unless I connected to headphone and listen. I suggest to watch any other movie, you may feel the difference…. Thanks 🙂

  19. URVASHI theatre will give you the best cinematic experience, it’s a treat to watch movie there, instead not preferring for any other theatres nearby. However URVASHI theatre will screen all good high budget movies all-time . This theatre will surely dominate our expectations.

  20. Friends, i am also fan of URVASHI Theatre, now Mahashweri & Sandhya theatre also came up with best sound & screen quality. In that Maheshwari theatre is christie 4K projecter & Auro 3D sound quality, awesome screen, sound & viewing also….

  21. One of the finest and wonderful clarity on screen and the sound system…. Instead of wasting money on IMax please visit urvashi.. Wonderful atmosphere and wonderful crowd… Since childhood it’s my fav theater… Best theatre in entire BANGALORE…

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