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Fig: 1 - A big part of visiting a cinema hall is selecting the seat position from which we intend to experience the content.


Watching a movie in a cinema hall has been one of the most popular forms of entertainment for a long time. Viewing exclusive media content in an enclosed venue, on a huge screen surrounded by movie enthusiasts from different regions...the destination offers an experience like no other.

As digitisation came about, the availability of the internet and gadgets has created a new variant of content consumption through online streaming. It serves the purpose of a cinema hall but more than that, provides an air of privacy, unlike cinema halls.

The availability of content on personal devices has increased extensively and pushed people’s preferences to view media at their own leisure. While the interface between the viewer and media is still a screen, the customized experience has made online streaming a preferred media outlet.

In the era of the pandemic, online media proved to be a boon to the isolated and quarantined populace. At the same time, the desire for public encounters increased exponentially and this could be a start to re-establishing the cinema hall today.

Fig: 1 - A big part of visiting a cinema hall is selecting the seat position from which we intend to experience the content.


Even with online streaming dominating the media market, cinema halls still have the capability of attracting audiences. The ambiance, lighting, and widescreen create a wholesome experience of color and sound. The trend of cinemas is being capitalized by not just online streamers but also advanced technology companies to create dimensional theatre viewing.

While the quality of media and the consumption interface of cinemas has changed with special formats of 4DX, VR pods, luxury recliners, and so on, the conventional form of cinema halls has rarely witnessed up-gradation in its layout. The seating arrangement directs the perception and in turn, the entire experience of the space, yet little innovation is seen in this aspect.

How can drastic changes in the layout transform the viewing in cinema halls? How can we make cinema halls relevant to the streamer generation? With online streaming services into play, is it possible to transfuse the attributes of online mode of entertainment, into the design of a new cinematic experience?

Fig: 3 - Cinema viewing is preferred as a public activity by many people


Like all art, every viewer takes a different thing from cinema. It's time we translate this individuality into their physical experience of cinema as well.

Brief: Design a new type of cinema hall to give all of its viewers a private screening experience.

The cinema hall will cater to individuals and groups of people so the viewing arrangement must be flexible to serve the seating preferences of all. The interior details and technical layout of facilities have to be worked out.

The privacy level of viewing and the freedom from conventional seating arrangement will be the purpose of the design. This would require intense layout planning changes that are radical and unfamiliar, but achieving comfort and convenience of use, in any outcome.

The cinema of the future has to be designed to be placed in multiple urban locations with high settlement densities. The guidelines of the pandemic may be irrelevant in the future, but safety and hygiene measures are to be employed in every public project, moving forward.


The following objectives can be a point of beginning to conceive this design. Participants can assume the context of a metro city of the future and its residents as users before initiating their design process.

Futuristic/Visionary: The design must represent what the cinema space would look like a decade into the future.

Representative/Derivative: The design must take into account that it is foremost a space for Cinema.

Pragmatic/Rooted: The design must take present trends into account and suitably extrapolate.

Scalable: The design should be scalable and applicable to multiple sites.


The cinema hall is to be designed for 100 visitors. The area of the cinema hall must not exceed 300 square meters. The cinema hall will be a single structure. Any kind of form can be chosen for the theatre model.

The current density of a conventional single screen is 1.35 sq.m. / person. The density stated is inclusive of circulation space, screen space, and projection space. The challenge in the brief is to decrease this density so that the space for one person is doubled, ensuring distancing.

Viewing Space: The primary purpose of the intervention. This constitutes the main space where the patrons see the film being played.

Projection/ Data Hub: Depending on how the designer envisions the cinema of the future, there must be a hub space/ projection space that deals with the technicality of film exhibition.

Services/Development Regulations: The design must adhere to standard safety and circulation norms, apart from any other statutory design guidelines participants think necessary to ensure a safe viewing experience for patrons.

Participants are free to explore other programs (and their subsets) depending upon their design.