A slightly cool breeze fills the air and dusk slowly settles over the lawns at OneGolf Brewery in Hyderabad. The setting — rows of neatly-arranged bean bags and mattresses with cushions, string lights and LED candles lending a glow – is ideal for watching Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on an elevated 10×18 feet projector screen.
This cinematic experience under the stars by Sunset Cinema Club (SCC) also has food and beverage options – alcohol and mocktails for those wanting to snack and drink while watching a movie.
SCC is an outdoor cinema company designed to create open-air movie experiences by showing films in alternative spaces across India. It’s a picnicking experience that the Club hopes to make for the audience, says its co-founder Sanchit Gupta over the phone.
“We felt this should be a part of the culture in our cities where people gather outdoors and watch the films they love again on the big screen. This was missing as cities lack open spaces due to the ongoing construction of structures.”
Having opened first in Delhi in 2016 with the movie Pulp Fiction, this cinematic experience has since spread to Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Chandigarh and Gurgaon. Parking lots, rooftops, garages, lawns and any other open space in hotels and breweries, IT parks and convention centres transform into venues for an intimate experience.
Movies screened till now
Crazy, Stupid Love
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
Dilwaale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge
Chak De India
Kal Ho Naa Ho
Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na
Jab We Met
Ee Nagraniki Emaindi
Launch in Hyderabad
Since its introduction in February in 2023 in Hyderabad, the number of screenings in Hindi, English and Telugu held on weekends (barring the rains) at The Loft in Hitech City and One Golf Brewery in Nanakramguda has touched 80+.
The movies to be screened are centred around special occasions; rom-coms like The Proposal , Crazy, stupid. Love, Midnight in Paris for Valentine’s Day, Chak De India celebrating the spirit for Independence Day and heart warming ones like Home Alone for Christmas. The screenings take place after getting a license from the production/distribution house and are selected based on multiple factors including a data-based approach and social media recommendations. While the tickets are priced at ₹500 and ₹400 (bean bag and mattress seating that can accommodate around 250 people), the food and drinks sold separately at the counters available.
“The place looks beautiful when lit with lights. Watching a movie with a partner, in a serene ambience amid trees is an enriching experience,” says Pagidi Vishnu Vardhan, operations manager, who watches all the movies prior to their screening to check if there are any glitches.
The Club had screened Baby and Samajavaragamana in collaboration with the streaming platform aha, and hosted Tharun Bhaskar ‘s Keeda Cola team during the screening of Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi. On a rare occasion, the team shifted the screening indoors due to rain. Usually, the Club reschedules tickets to a different date, when it rains. “We never screen the movie indoors; it is a purely outdoor experience,” informs Vishnu.
For Sridhar Avanuri, an independent musician, the outdoor movie experience is nostalgic, taking him back to his childhood days in Warangal. “I used to look forward to watching movies being screened on a projector during Vinayaka Chavithi; I have watched natakaalu (plays) too in open-air spaces. Although you are sitting with strangers, you feel at home and memories warm your heart.”
With plans to expand to other venues in Hyderabad and launch in Vizag, SCC hopes to continue to provide movie-goers the magic of watching films in alternative spaces.
Cinematic experience under the sky
Sunset Cinema Club
Cinema in alternative spaces