Thiruvananthapuram: The majestic Athirappilly looks belligerent. The splash of the mighty waterfall; you can even see the tiny drops of water crystal clear though it is raining. The eeriness of the woods nearby amidst the backdrop of the rush and the roar of waterfall, accompanied by intense thunder storm haunt you.
For minutes, you literally forget the cosiness of the plush recliner at the all-new AriesPlex SL as the film opens. Watching the current blockbuster Baahubali here is simply a treat; the only screen in South India where the 4K print of the movie’s Tamil version is being shown.
If you have not experienced AriesPlex SL yet, then you are missing something truly mind-blowing. The 35-year-old SL Cinemas in Thiruvananthapuram has been transformed into a state-of-the-art multiplex offering a whole new cinema experience to movie lovers.
In Kerala, or for that matter all of South India, it does not get better and bigger than this for the hardcore movie buff - Double 4K projection that greatly enhances the 3D experience, 72-feet DMAX 3D screen for an all encompassing, immersive feeling, Dolby Atmos sound with 64 individually powered speakers for powerful lifelike sound that flows around you, and plush recliner seating.
A double 4K projection retains the original quality of a film like Baahubali, hailed for its technical acumen and visual extravaganza. Usually films shot in 4K or more are scaled down to 2K or less resolution for projection at most centres as they do not have higher resolution projectors. This gravely compromises the visual experience.
According to Sohan Roy S K, the CEO of Aries Group of Companies, AriesPlex SL is a small step towards showcasing the power of new generation projection capabilities to influence the mindset of viewers and exhibitors.
Says Roy: “My directorial venture DAM 999 was the first 4K-scanned, 2D-to-3D-converted movie in India with the best sync sound features. But at the time of post production I realised that not even a single theatre in India is capable of 4K projection and none of the theatres is properly sound calibrated as well. Due to the 1/32 compression ratio and the poor glasses provided at the theatres I had to remove the 3D version from the theatres on the first day itself. That day I decided I shall go for another directorial venture only when Indian theatres are equipped with quality infrastructure that can do justice to the film.”
Since Thiruvananthapuram, Roy adds, is the nearest metro city to his hometown Punalur, he tried this experiment at SL Cinemas, the biggest theatre complex of Kerala, even though it is a very old structure.DK