San Jose, California's Bollywood

Lisa Taggart
San Jose, California's Bollywood
Cinematic adventure in the South Bay

The best part of watching the Oscars is spotting the most outrageous outfits. But for sustained cinematic drama, a better source originates halfway across the globe in the booming Hindi-language film industry called Bollywood.

You don't have to wait all year; India reportedly averages three new films a day. And the West's largest Indian population ― here in the South Bay ― enjoys a steady infusion of Bollywood glam at San Jose's IMC6 theater.

My night at IMC6 felt a little like a quick trip to India, albeit a goofy one, as the film was a subtitled musical that was, if you can imagine it, part Grease, part Patriot Games, and part rock video.

But sitting in a roomful of sari-clad ladies, I imagined that my husband and I were on a subcontinental sojourn. We'd chosen from movies in Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, and Telugu, and debated over buttered popcorn or samosas, from owner Venkateswarlu Muvva's eight-year-old Sunnyvale restaurant.

Sustenance was important, as the movie was three hours long. Muvva agrees that IMC6 flicks are a gala affair: "It's an event, coming to the movies here." IMC6 (shows Fri–Wed; from $5; 1433 The Alameda, San Jose; or 408/830-9999). Banjara Restaurant (407 Town & Country Village, Sunnyvale; 408/737-9151).

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