Local movie theaters fill void left by the Galaxy

aramos@newsobserver.comJanuary 22, 2014 

The Galaxy Cinema, which showed foreign and independent films, was torn down last May to make way for a Harris Teeter grocery store.


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    For more information about Indian movies showing locally, go to www.70mmacdts.com or search “Indiancinema Cary” on Facebook.

— On a recent Thursday night, hopeful movie-goers milled around in the lobby of the Carmike Park Place 16 theater in Morrisville. They didn’t care much that the movie, a much-anticipated Indian action thriller, was starting later than expected.

It’s not like they could go elsewhere to see the flick, called “1 Nenokkadine.”

The Galaxy Cinema in Cary used to cater to fans of foreign and independent films. But the popular venue closed in 2012 to make way for a Harris Teeter grocery store, much to the disappointment of its loyal customers.

Now some local mainstream theaters are trying to fill the void.

“The Galaxy went down, so there were no other options,” said Roopchand Yanamadala, a software systems administrator who lives in Cary.

Yanamadala approached Carmike about a year and a half ago about showing Indian movies. He had a connection to a film distributor from his college days at the University of San Antonio, where he used to show such films.

“I started to look for theaters,” he said. “They gave me the opportunity.”

Carmike agreed to a test run at its Morrisville theater, and now the movies are showing at more than 40 Carmike locations in the United States, Yanamadala said.

Feature films premiere nearly every week, and there are usually about four Indian films showing at a time at Carmike.

The movie “1 Nenokkadine,” about a man who wakes up with amnesia and tries to figure out who he is, features major Indian star Mahesh Babu.

‘Movies from our place’

With large Indian-American populations, there’s a demand in Cary and Morrisville for foreign films.

Regal Crossroads Stadium 20 in Cary has also started showing movies in Hindi. Carmike 16 in Morrisville features movies in two other languages, Telugu and Tamil.

Rajhu Bhogireddi and Hima Bindu, who both live in Morrisville, used to watch movies at the Galaxy.

“When it was closing, we were looking forward to where we (could) watch movies,” Bhogireddi said. “We’ve been coming here (to Carmike) for more than a year.”

Bindu said watching films in her native language helps her feel closer to home.

“We are getting our movies from our place,” she said.

Getting to watch movies in Telugu is a big draw for Neel Challagali of Durham.

The Galaxy “was the only theater we had to watch Indian movies in our language,” Challagali said.

N.C. State University student Kaushik Tadikonda grew up watching movies at the Galaxy.

“They were the first ones to take an interest to bring it here,” Tadikonda said. “Since the Galaxy used to do it, now many other theaters realized it makes good business.”

Ramos: 919-460-2609; Twitter: @AlianaCaryNews

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