Once among the city’s hot spots, the forgotten Liberty Cinema — where Mughal-e-Azam premiered in 1960 — is all set to return to the spotlight. This Sunday, the Art Deco building will play host to Music Matinee, a series of cultural events to be held one Sunday every month.
Conceptualised and produced by Indigo Live, Music Matinee was born to present an eclectic blend of art and culture to the city. The venues for other events haven’t been fixed yet.
Blues artiste Jai Row Kavi will be among the performers you can look forward to at Music Matinee
Guests will be treated to brunch peppered with a sampling of fine wine and cheese. Performers who will set the ball rolling for the series include Blues musicians Shefali Alvares, Siddhart Basur of Goddess Gagged fame and Shawn Pereira from Blakc. “Music Matinee will always remain a Sunday brunch with live music, art and cuisine,” says Director of Indigo Live, Shome Jagtiani, about the general format of the event. “What may change is the music, the type of art we exhibit and the food and beverages we offer.”
Liberty expects to play host to 250 guests from the city’s art and music fraternity on Sunday. Theatre owner Habib Hoosein says, “No changes have been made to the building to make it suitable for concerts or plays. Liberty had vanished from the city’s cultural radar and since not many people came here for movies, it was assumed that the cinema had shut down. Luckily for us, most organisers and artistes have accepted the place the way it is and have been amazed at its impeccable condition. Most visitors find it hard to believe that the woodwork, the reeded paneling and even the seats inside the cinema are in great shape though they are 63 years old.”
Speaking about the cinema’s history, Hoosein, who built the theatre, says, the foundation was laid in 1947. “Due to the historical significance of that year, we named the theatre Liberty.”
Jagtiani hopes that Liberty’s heritage rubs off on the event itself. “In times to come it would be lovely if Music Matinee could be remembered as an event held in the most lovely historic venues across all music-loving cities in the country.”