For Rs10 a film, India’s Underclass in Delhi gets their daily dose of Bollywood

Under the bridge blankets are hung to create walls to block out sunlight. Homemade tickets are used, and seats can be chosen based on where you want to view the movie

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After a hard day's work. Image source: (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton)
  • Under the bridge, underclass people hang blankets to create walls for the theatre and to block out sunlight
  • Tickets here are sold for Rs 10 ($0.15) per movie
  • An old television set is placed in the front, and the crowds settle in

In many cultures movies are a way to escape from reality. They can showcase hardship and victory, the supernatural or death. Whatever it is, the viewer becomes engrossed in the film. They start feeling for the characters, and rooting for them to win; forgetting about their own life struggles in that moment of time. With the inflation of movie ticket prices, it becomes harder and harder for everyone to find the escape a movie provides; this is the case for India’s underclass.

Homemade tickets lie on a table at the makeshift cinema. Image source: (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton)
Homemade tickets lie on a table at the makeshift cinema. Image source: (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton)

For those who can barely make ends meet, a movie ticket sold at Rs400 ($5.95) is a luxury they must forgo. Cue the pop up of makeshift theaters. One example of this new type of theater can be found under a 140 year old bridge. Located in the old quarters of New Delhi, the theater attracts many people who have spent their day working hard. Tickets here are sold for the lower sum of Rs10 ($0.15).

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A passenger train makes its way over the bridge that houses the makeshift cinema. Image source: (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton)
A passenger train makes its way over the bridge that houses the makeshift cinema. Image source: (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton)

Under the bridge blankets are hung to create walls to block out sunlight. Homemade tickets are used, and seats can be chosen based on where you want to view the movie; just like the real theaters. An old television set is placed in the front, and the crowds settle in. After a long day of work this seems like the ideal place to unwind. Some of the crowd can not help but dose off into a restful sleep, while others can not take their eyes off of the screen.

Patrons can sit or even lie down while watching movies.Image source: (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton)
Patrons can sit or even lie down while watching movies.Image source: (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton)

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One member of the crowd, Mohammad Noor Islam spoke to Reuters Television. It is not hard to agree with him as he was quoted saying, “Films are much better. Many men get hooked on gambling, drugs and alcohol and they pass their time by drinking or smoking.”

One-man show. Image source: (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton)
One-man show. Image source: (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton)

Under the bridge is a safe haven. The laborers can find relief from the scorching heat, and distractions from their daily lives. At the low price of Rs 10, a one hundredth of the cost of an actual theatre ticket, movies are watched and enjoyed by many.

-by Abigail Andrea, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter @abby_kono

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