If you’re a Bollywood cinephile new to Berkeley, there is some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that there are only about a dozen theatres in California that screen Indian movies. The good news is that two of them are just a short stop from Berkeley.
The first is Regal United Artists Emery Bay 10 in Emeryville, reachable by AC Transit’s 51B bus line, which is free to Cal students. The other theatre, which sometimes has more Bollywood offerings, is Big Cinemas Fremont 7, just a couple blocks from the Fremont BART station. Formerly known as the Naz 8, this theatre is known for its $5 Tuesdays. (For an unofficial listing of its Hindi movie showings visit http://mycity.sulekha.com/movies_in-and-near_berkeley-ca).
If you’ve never been to a Bollywood movie, there are three things you should know: First, Bollywood movies are long, not your typical 72-minute fare. They tend to run along the lines of three hours, so be conscious of that when you make plans.
Second, at the risk of stating the obvious, most Bollywood movies are not in English. The original Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali or Marathi will be subtitled in these theatres, though, so you won’t have to do much mime interpretation.
Third, Bollywood movies tend to boast (melo)dramatic storylines, beautifully vivid costumes, dashing heroes and heroines, and unforgettable musical numbers. It’s why they’re so well loved and why they’re fun to watch on the big screen.
So the next time you hear about a Bollywood movie that’s taken Mumbai by storm, gather your friends and come out to a theatre near you.
UA Emery Bay Stadium 10
6330 Christie Avenue
Emeryville, CA 94608
Big Cinemas Fremont 7
39160 Paseo Padre Pkwy
(between Capitol Ave & Walnut Ave)
Fremont, CA 94538