Filmy Twist

April, 2018


Finished to perfection with the expertise of Minnie Bhatt, the adjoined spaces retain distinct features while forming a wholesome experience for varied clientele. The movie-inspired spaces, Nau Se Barah 9/12 and The Fan Club are set on the ground floor of Balaji Movieplex in Kopar Khairane, Navi Mumbai. Simple yet powerful elements of the movies bring strong character to the spaces. The entrance uses interesting retro cameras on an exposed brick wall, hung in colourful picture frames forming the paparazzi to greet the guests. The flashes that go off on motion sensors give the whole ‘movie-star’ feel to the modern movie-inspired bars. This forms the common entry corridor to both The Fan Club and Nau Se Barah 9/12. On entering Nau Se Barah 9/12 one is greeted by the custom-designed hexagonal elements creeping up from the floor to the display unit for the merchandise. This retail space at the entrance is flanked by rad hand-painted décor elements that add the whole zing to the space. Cool shot glasses, t-shirts, diaries and tins are designed with the iconography from The Fan Club and Nau Se Barah 9/12.

Describing the concepts, Minnie Bhatt, Design Director, Minnie Bhatt Designs said, “When the client approached us to design this movie inspired restaurant /cafe she was very clear that she did not want cliched design elements. We worked together with the branding team to create an atypical movie inspired space. The name suggested by them was very apt as the restaurant is located in a multiplex. The initial idea was to create one large space with different sections, which evolved into creating two separate identities and separate restaurants. That’s how we divided the large space into two, one Nau Se Barah 9/12 and the other The Fan Club.”

The ambience and seating at Nau Se Barah 9/12 was planned keeping a younger audience in mind. The space features booth seating along the periphery of the space and mix of stools and high bar tables in the centre. The bar counter was planned as per functionality and proximity to the kitchen and service spaces. The restaurant is young, vibrant and colourful. Steering clear from movie posters, the designer worked closely with the branding team to create movie-inspired shadow boxes instead.

The 3D boxes use custom-made elements from the movies to fit the box and a famous dialogue too. Some of the movies featured are Troy, Batman versus Superman, Don, Hera Pheri, Godfather, Inception, 3 Idiots and more. The Troy box shows the wooden horse as in the movie while the 3 Idiots one portrays the quirky playground seating in the movie. Hexagonal shapes were randomly laid in a flowing manner to complement the grey ips flooring. The outdoor area is completed with an exposed brick wall and wooden rafters. The retro colour palette uses turquoise blue, red and orange for the upholstery. Industrial hanging lights and LED wall washer lights are used around the space.

All the furniture is custom-made. The branding team came up with a catchy line ‘Chalti hai kya 9/12’ and it was incorporated in the space by having it made in metal alphabets with small light bulbs in them. Instead of having bar stools by the bar, the designer created a feature element in wooden swings for seating. Talking about the concept, Bhavya Raju, Owner, Balaji Movieplex says, “The best part about the design is that we can always create new elements to fit our shadow boxes based on trending movies. Our food and service is already known in the locality through our wraps and rolls that we previously served in the multiplex. Expanding this concept into Nau Sey Barah and The Fan Club, we offer a more elaborate dining experience with added variety and novelty to the dishes along with a thriving vibe and atmosphere to complete the movie experience.” The adjoined restaurant The Fan Club, is relatively smaller and has dining height tables and sofas. The branding team created caricatures of famous actors in black and white that serves as the main design element in the space. Here, the idea was to represent a space for fans of characters as opposed to fans of celebrities. Here there is a panelled wall in plywood that was painted in a fresh shade of orange to enhance the caricature artworks.

Adding to the name, quirky elements were used throughout. Vintage table fans hand painted with interesting retro motifs were used to decorate the space. The floor here is a random mix of patterned cement tiles that offset the monotone of the upholstery and balance the colours in the space. The shadow box concept was interestingly used to create the ‘Villan Wall’ which is dedicated to the famous villains in Bollywood like Amjad Khan, Prem Chopra and other paraphernalia from the ‘70’s movies like gold biscuits, large currency notes etc.

There is a bar that serves also as a take away counter for guests. The caddies, the place mats and other niche elements used around the space are highly customised for The Fan Club. Each placemat even describes the story of the extent a fan has gone to interact with the character and film star. The idea of the movies all-in all permeates in every element of both the spaces.