By Matt Artz
Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 at 7:33 pm in business.
When I talk about Fremont to my friends back east, one of the first things I mention is that the city has its own Bollywood movie theater. It pretty much says everything you need to know about the city’s diversity and thriving Indo-American population.
Well, I’m going to need a new example.
Starting Friday, NAZ8 Cinemas is transitioning from Bollywood to Hollywood. It will be debuting “Night at the Museum,” this Friday. Within a few weeks, it will devote five screens to mainstream, first-run Hollywood flicks, and two screens for Bollywood movies.
Ticket prices will be increased to $9.50. But the popcorn will be free, and they’ll still have samosas.
Shiraz Jivani, the theater’s owner, said he got permission from the big Hollywood studios to go mainstream after Cinedome 8 closed earlier this year, leaving Fremont without a first-run English language theater.
He said his business had suffered from tech slowdown, Bollywood movie piracy, and Bollywood’s inconsistency in releasing films. Bollywood producers have been on strike for more than a month, forcing Jivani to show reruns.
We’ll have a full story about this in the paper later this week. I just got back from the theater, and the reaction missed. A couple of people, both Indian said they were happy the theater would also show Hollywood flicks. A couple of others, both white Bollywood film buffs from Berkeley, were sad to hear the news.