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Reuters/Cathal McNaughton
After a hard days work.
FINDING SOLACE

Photos: Where India’s underclass gets its daily dose of Bollywood, for Rs10 a film

By Quartz Staff

Regardless of age, sex or wealth, Indians love their movies.

In India’s bigger cities, the movie-going experience has been lately defined by posh multiplexes that have nearly wiped out storied single-screen cinemas. But it has come at a cost. In New Delhi’s multiplexes, for instance, ticket for a single show costs nothing less than Rs400 ($5.95)—a ridiculous amount for those surviving on meagre daily wages.

Enter makeshift theatres.

One such set-up functions under a 140-year-old bridge in the old quarters of Delhi. Located near the banks of the Yamuna, this rag-tag cinema is the best that poor migrants and labourers can afford. It screens four movies a day, at just about Rs10 per ticket.

Old rags from a nearby crematorium are used as seats by the patrons to relax after a long day of labour. An old television set, hooked to a video compact disc player, is the screen.

“Films are much better. Many men get hooked on gambling, drugs, and alcohol and they pass their time by drinking or smoking,” Mohammad Noor Islam, a junk dealer told Reuters. ”But some of us, who do not indulge in these vices, come here and watch films. We are addicted to films.”

Here are some images from the makeshift theatre under the bridge.

Reuters/Cathal McNaughton
A movie being screened on a television set at the makeshift cinema under a bridge in the old quarters of Delhi, India, May 25, 2016.
Reuters/Cathal McNaughton
A passenger train makes its way over the bridge that houses the makeshift cinema.
Reuters/Cathal McNaughton
A man outside the theatre.
Reuters/Cathal McNaughton
Engrossed patrons.
Reuters/Cathal McNaughton
It’s a full house for this show.
Reuters/Cathal McNaughton
Homemade tickets lie on a table at the makeshift cinema.
Reuters/Cathal McNaughton
The movie can’t disturb their sleep.
Reuters/Cathal McNaughton
The show goes on.
Reuters/Cathal McNaughton
A rickshaw puller outside the cinema.
Reuters/Cathal McNaughton
One-man show.
Reuters/Cathal McNaughton
A man peers through blankets to catch a glimpse of a movie.
Reuters/Cathal McNaughton
Brief moments of joy.
Reuters/Cathal McNaughton
Patrons can sit or even lie down while watching movies.