Have you ever wondered why Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu has such a strong fanbase for cinema? It’s probably due to the unique and aesthetically designed cinema halls found throughout the city. Unlike typical rectangular or box-shaped structures, these theaters offer a visual feast both inside and out. As a result, Tirunelveli has become famous not just for its temples and Halwa, but also for its stunning movie theatres, which have become a hallmark of this historic city.
One such cinema hall is Parvati Theatre, located near the historic Tirunelveli Arch. Designed by renowned architect Mr. Avudaiyappan, the 1300-seater theater boasts an outstanding design and is just one of many beautiful cine theaters in the city. Mr. Avudaiyappan also designed other famous cine theaters in Tirunelveli, including Central, Lakshmi and Ratna.
Interestingly, when Mr. MG Shankar Reddiar requested the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, K. Kamaraj, to inaugurate the hall, the latter agreed on one condition – Mr. Shankar Reddiar had to start two schools in his native area and provide free education to the people. This was typical of Kamaraj’s style of governance.
Shankar Reddiar owned another theater called Ratna, located diagonally across from Parvati. This clever business tactic meant that those who couldn’t get tickets in one theater could easily cross the road and watch a movie in the other.
Sivaji Ganesan’s Irumbu Thirai was the first movie to be shown on this theatre.
Parvati Theater has been a favorite go-to place for locals since it was inaugurated in 1960. However, in 2010, it was converted into a marriage hall.
Even without entering the theatre, an art lover can appreciate the beautiful sculptures that adorn the walls of the structure. The walls feature Radha and Krishna in various dance postures, the stunning Goddess Lakshmi seated on a lotus, Shiva seated stylishly with his consort standing behind him, and many more dancing damsels in various postures.
The entrance of the cine hall is graced by two impressive statues of damsels, while another wall depicts the scene of Rama’s Pattabhisheka (coronation).
There, Krishna is found romancing a Gopika leaning on a tree while the accompanying cow leisurely grazes the grass.
Shiva sporting a moustache, is a family man now. His consort and son are seated on his either side and they all share the same seat. A close-knit family!
Overall, the architecture of Parvati Theater is terrific, and it is indeed a point of pride for the city of Tirunelveli. Whether you are a lover of art or cinema, this aesthetically designed structure is definitely worth a visit.
DISCLAIMER: I hereby declare that I do not own the rights to this music/song. All rights belong to the owner. No Copyright Infringement Intended.
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