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    As SPI Cinemas launches its latest, we talk to Giovanni Castor, the man behind its opulent interiors

    Just before the rain gods declared war on the city this Monday, the SPI Cinemas group opened the doors of its newest multiplex, Palazzo. People continued to pour in on Tuesday even as a river started forming just outside the Forum Vijaya Mall in which it is located. And on Wednesday, as life in this metro came to a standstill for hundreds, this Italian palatial-themed space remained open to provide shelter to people whose homes were under water.

    Good to know
    U05C9170The first thing you should be aware of is that this multiplex houses the city’s second IMAX screen. But our guess is just as good as yours regarding when said screen is bound to launch. Till then, eight other screens (all of them featuring RDX-4K projection) with ‘rocker’ seats that the group is introducing for the first time, will be at your disposal. The focus here is primarily on the interiors that feature prints of fresco paintings on the walls and ceiling domes, the chandeliers, the piazza-like restaurant and lots of marble. Giovanni Castor, the Los Angeles-based designer who also takes credit for Escape and Luxe (no longer part of SPI Cinemas), says the lobby was the most difficult to design. “The low ceiling played a role in the selection of the chandelier. I decided to use designs that create the illusion of a bigger space. Another way I created illusional design was in colour selection,” he says. Palazzo will also be opening a spa and gaming zone in the not-so-distant future.

    More to come
    As we quiz SPI Cinemas’ head of experience, Bhavesh Shah, we learn that the group is gearing up to launch their brand The Cinema in Pondicherry and Bengaluru next. He also promises that all their screens will be Dolby Atmos equipped by July 2016, with Dolby’s latest, HDR Projection, in the pipeline too. But after their hot chocolate (a choco bar served with milk so you can dissolve it yourself) launched recently, we can’t wait for more from their F&B team, who are rolling out new offerings next April. Hopefully the all-day buffets (breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert) being planned at Palazzo will open sooner.
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    — Ryan Peppin

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