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Weekend in Chennai – Music, Movies & Theatre.

October 24, 2007

I planned a few blogs about some options to spend weekends in chennai, this is the first writeup in this series.

Be that you want to take off from regular life or take up an activity/hobby that demands only weekends, Chennai has everything in its own style.

Chennai is a carnatic Music hub. The music season starts in December and you can see lots and lots events happening. Apart from these jazz, sufi, rock, ghazal musical events also take place around the year – difficult to know when these happen unless you keep an eye on the newspapers.

Nageswara park in Mylapore is also a must visit on 1st sunday mornings in a month if you live nearby. ‘Sundaram Finance Sunday Kutcheri in the park’ is held for children below 15 years who are learning music for an hour between 6:30 and 7:30, tranquility admist dawn and music – deadly combination.

Museum theatre located on pantheon Road in Egmore hosts some of the western and indo-western musical events. Best thing is to keep an eye on the newspaper and call the theatre at 28193238 and check.

Vani Mahal, located on G.N Chetty Road in T.nagar, Hosts Musical and dance events. Contact them at 28152166.

Music Academy, on TTK road in Mylapore hosts a lot of musical events during the Musical season, which starts in december. You can visit their website http://www.musicacademymadras.in/ for all the events for the season. You also see the events listed for the dance season next year.

Theatre is also very much active in chennai.
Alliance francias:
The French connection in chennai sponsored by the french embassy. The Main office is on New college road Nungambakkam, A calm and peaceful place ( which i fell in love with immediately) with lots of trees and a small amphitheatre. There is a branch office in Adyar also. Apart from teaching french and conducting exams, they also host number of plays throughout the year, Photo Exhibitions, screening of movies, documentries etc. All the events are held at the Nungambakkam office. The plays will be in english, the best way to check whats on for the weekend is to visit their website at http://www.af-madras.org/ and the homepage has a pdf file with the events for the quarter. They have a small cafe serving some french food, dont miss that.

Music academy:
Its on TTK road in Mylapore. You can visit their website http://www.musicacademymadras.in/, It doesnt give the details of the plays that the academy will host. Perhaps the ‘Events’ page thats under construction will give the details when its up. Check the local papers for the plays for the week or call the office at 28112231/ 28115162. Hosts both English and Tamil Plays.

Museum theatre:
Located on pantheon Road in Egmore, is a part of the Government Museum. The official website of the museum doesnt say anything about the events the theatre will host. Best thing is to keep an eye on the newspaper.
Most of the plays start between 5-7PM, Occasionally there will be shows at 3:30PM also. Sometimes donor passes will be available in landmark, odessey and other places, But the best thing is to call the place at 28193238 and check.

There are other concert halls where you can check for Musical events, Plays and other events like
Narada Gana Sabha, TTK Road.
Rani Seethai Hall, Anna Salai.
Raja Annamalai, Esplanade.
Kamaraj Memorial Hall, Anna Salai.
Klaivanar Arangam, Government Estate, Wallaja Road.
etc….

There are many Movie theatres in chennai, here i will talk only about some Multiplexes and offbeat movie places where there is something beside a movie.

Mayajaal:
Located on ECR past the tollgate, one can spend a complete day here. Planning to go alone, with family, group of friends or arranging a team event for corporates – Mayajaal has it all.
To book the tickets one can get them directly at the counter or through phone or online booking at http://www.mayajaal.com/site/defaultmovies.asp. I dont know how secure is their website for booking tickets and what their phone booking procedure is as i always bought tickets from the counter.If you have tickets and have plenting of time to spend before the show, no probs there are lots of options in and around mayajaal.
In mayajaal – Bowling, Food, Bit of shopping, Vedio games, Go Karting, Pool and more.
Around mayajaal – If you want some boating, Muthukadu is only 20 mins from here, If you are a looking for some indoor and outdoor plants for your house, there are lots of plant nurseries around to check; If you are looking for some serenity, the beach is always there. (Other options along ECR will be in my next blog)
There is a cricket ground, some indoor and outdoor stuff for the sports buffs normally opened for the members, but available for corporate events if told in advance. ICL’s, for non cricket fans its Indian Cricket League, training camp was held at mayajaal recently.

Satyam:
Its off the Peters Road, Very Near to the saravana bhavan on the peters road.
The Online booking at http://thecinema.in/ is very simple and we can print the tickets which is provided as a pdf file. The online booking for a week opens on wednesday, be quick, especially for multiple tickets. I didnt buy tickets till now off the counter. There is a bit of shopping, and a playspace for kids. If you find their inhouse Ecstacy to be expensive (which is….) saravana bhavan is very near unless you want to try something exotic. Satyam is near to Mount road, can be reached easily from Tnagar, Mylapore, Alwarpet, So If you are planning to do shopping in the morning, have a sumptous south indian lunch and settle back for movie – satyam is your bet, but dont dont forget to book tickets in advance. There is enough parking space but if you want in the complex avoid the evening rush.
The only drawback i found is the wait outside the theatre before the start of the movie. There isnt much of waiting space, very much cramped with all the people waiting to go inside and its a bit difficult during rains.

Inox:
Situated in Citi Centre on RK salai. A combination of marina beach, branded shopping and movies.
The online booking at http://www.inoxmovies.com/inox/wcms/en/home/index.html is also simple, but i was never quick enough to get tickets through online booking in inox. There are lots of stalls in Citi Centre offering variety of food and shouldnt be a problem. Do some window shopping, Have some mall style food, See a movie, Relax in the beach (The beach will be crowded on weekends, but there is an inch for everyone….)

Prathana:
I heard a lot, but didnt visit this one till now. You can only get evening shows as its a open air, drive in theatre in Injambakkam on ECR. Prarthana is a “Cars Only” section. Bikers can take “Aaradhana”. The gaint white wall on which the projection is caught greets you here. Get your tickets in advance if planning to visit over a weekend, The catch is only tamil movies are played. Pick the Tickets, Explore ECR (I am planning for an exclusive entry on ECR alone) and settle for the movie in the evening before you head home. Food is available here so keep munching under the stars. Not only the sea breeze, mosquitos also sometimes give company so avoid the rainy and post rainy season, do carry some mosquito repellants. Book tickets by calling 2441 3758, 2485 0385, 2499 4907.

Next entry is on ECR so tune in….

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 24, 2007 11:34 pm

    Very nice article. Thank you very much! I didn’t know Chennai until know 😀

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