Understanding the existing space
Casino Cinemas were taken over by SPI cinemas group under management lease for a few years.
SPI cinemas is an Indian multiplex chain and film production company owned by the SPI Group, headquartered in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The company began operating multiplexes in Chennai, and eventually expanded to several states in India. SPI is often lauded for its premium quality and inexpensive pricing. Its theatres, primarily Sathyam Cinemas, are often used by filmmakers for film premieres and audio launch.
Sathyam Cinemas was originally named the “Royal Theatre Complex” and was built by Raja from Venkatagiri in April 1974.
With a capacity of 1,255 seats, it was the largest multiplex built in Chennai at the time. SPI Cinemas is one of the key movie distributors in Tamil Nadu.
The logo should refer back to history, but at the same be more contemporary.
History of the space is the main important element which cannot be neglected at any cost.
The theatre stands still among all the shifts from its generation to the next and among all the competitions around because of its heritage value, love and experience it has created
to the people towards cinema and space. As my generation is not from that era of this theatre,
it’s just history for me. But, for my parents and grandparents generation its memory and nostalgia.
Classic | History | Contemporary | Space | Celebration | Art form
About the logo
Inspired by the seating arrangement seen in the auditorium and the shape of the screen which is very unique to this particular theatre and space. Giving a sense of illusion and aftermath effect what each movie creates and leaves behind for the audience to think about.
Mission Gothic, Semibold
Mission Gothic is a typeface which looks that it’s surviving from an earlier time, especially one of historical interest. The shapes evoke a sense of nostalgia, without being cartoony or stuck in the past.
Logo and logotype
C - 11
M - 61
Y - 67
K - 2
R - 220
G - 92
B - 57
C - 0
M - 0
Y - 0
K - 0
R - 255
G - 255
B - 255
C - 5
M - 4
Y - 5
K - 0
R - 241
G - 239
B - 234
C - 75
M - 68
Y - 67
K - 90
R - 0
G - 0
B - 0
Puff & doughnut cup outer packaging
Popcorn outer packaging
To create a new identity system for Casino Cinemas and to make the cinema hall more welcoming to all generations by dealing with the entire space. This was done as part of my graduation project.
The initial spark to this project
On the Indian streets, people are eager to photograph things, in Chennai the heritage sites are also being photographed and I feel that those buildings are just tolerating them. One among them is the casino cinemas. Maybe they get a lot of photographers, but what else can be done to preserve them?
By doing what will it bring to life a bygone era and make the space more welcoming to
the newer and older generation?
Story of Casino Cinemas
It was a dark and stormy night. Dark, as a blackout had been announced to deceive the Japanese bombers. And stormy because a cyclone had been predicted the next day. But with an inaugural show of George Formby starring in a laugh riot titled It turned out nice again on the 14th of December, Casino, the 20th running theatre of Madras, was inaugurated. Indeed, it was a big wartime confidence boost for the city to have a new theatre with the enemy at their doorstep. But the story of Casino started with ice.
In 1833, for the first time, Fredric Tudor of Boston shipped Arctic ice to Madras. And even after the invention of mechanical ice makers, the city of Madras continued to have an insatiable demand for frozen water.
In the early 1930s, Poona’s JH Irani family identified this shortfall and struck on a business idea to start an ice factory off Mount Road. The trade prospered but the competition started rising too. When a theatre owner of Madras set up another ice factory, the Iranis looked very closely at their rival. And, either recognizing a business opportunity or to show their annoyance, instantly leased a theatre (Star Talkies) in Triplicane for themselves.
A few years down the line, the Iranians decided to build their own theatre. They had an in-house civil engineer, Phiroze who set out to draft the building plan, though he had no prior experience designing anything, let alone theatres. The Iranis leased the land and put a theatre on it.
The Land was cheap, but the lease must have been spurred on because the site they chose was located in a typical cinema district. The earliest theatres in Madras would have been their neighbours if they had survived.
The first Indian- owned theatre in the city, Gaiety, was a neighbour. In fact, both the theatres were on the same parcel of leasehold land, adjacent to the English warehouse belonging to the late Hajee Sir Ismail Sait — one of the richest merchants in all of south India. Phiroze conceived a boat-like auditorium and concentrated on elevation and finishes rather than on the logistics inside. Though the cinema-goers were impressed with the stimulating foyer, the twin staircase and the impressively designed exterior it was widely felt that Phiroze had botched up the interior plan. The theatre was built in the art deco style, which was the vogue in the early 40’s when the Empire State, the Chrysler and Time Square were the talk of the world.
Advertising itself as Theatre Magnificent, Casino opened to the public, surprisingly with a night show (at 9.30 pm). As an additional attraction, the latest British Movietone news and Walt Disney cartoons were screened alongside. The first-floor dress circle tickets cost a hefty four Rupees while the ground floor tickets a down to earth 4 1/2 annas.
Location: 2, Blackers Rd, Mount Road, Anna Salai, Chintadripet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600002.