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Hong Kong Action Film
at the Frontiers of Cinema
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Halls exhibiting English films, like I.S. Mahal, Tirupathi, once targetted the middle class viewer. Built in 1965, I.S. Mahal is in a state of decay at present. The present proprietor, I. Siddaiah Naidu (in the picture on the extreme right), takes pride in the fact that for over three decades every major English films was released here. Naidu's father produced Telugu films, in addition to running the hall.

Srikrishna, Madanapalle. The very first air-conditioned cinema hall in a town where film exhibition is a thriving business, unlike most other parts of the state. (Source: Venugopal Naidu)
M. Venugopal Naidu, Proprietor of Srikrishna. The patriarch in the theatre lobby, where his trophies and books (he is a writer) are displayed. This part of the lobby is not accessible to the general public. Booking counter for women in Srikrishna. The cinema strictly segregates men and women even in the auditorium where they sit apart from each other.

Leelamahal, Vijayawada, where Veeraputrudu, the Telugu version of Armour of God, was released in 2001. Leelamahal was one of the theatres in Vijayawada which showed first release English films. More recently it created a sensation by showing a sex film featuring Shakeela. An advertisement for the Maheshwari- Parameshwari twin theatres in Hyderabad. Arguably, this complex is the last big investment in old style cinema halls. The complex was the first place in the city of Hyderabad to have an escalator. (Source: Jyothichitra, Ugadi 1986) A sign outside Raj-Yuvaraj complex, Vijayawada, says that those who provide information on black marketers will be given a free ticket.