Big B pitches for Marathi theatre, Bollywood museum in Mumbai

Saying that he is "a proud Mumbaikar", megastar Amitabh Bachchan today rued lack of auditoriums for Marathi plays in the city, and also pitched for a Bollywood museum.

Amitabh Bachchan
Amitabh Bachchan

"The Marathi stage is prominent entity and many of us are unaware of it. And they are unaware because we don't have sufficient theatres for many of these people to perform," Bachchan said at 'Mumbai Next' event organised by the state government.

The facility at Worli's National Sports Complex of India is used for both plays and sports, so there should be an exclusive theatre for plays in Marathi and other languages, he said. The Prithvi Theatre, located near his house in Juhu, is too small, he noted.

Bachchan, who has had an over four-decade association with the film industry, said the city also needs a museum which will document the journey of entertainment world and how it has grown to be the biggest film industry in the world.

"I came here to look for a better job, entered the entertainment industry. But having come here, having established myself, I am very proud of the fact that I am a Mumbaikar," the actor said.

Drawing from his experience in Gujarat, where he is the brand ambassador for the tourism department, Bachchan said there would be many historical sites with archaeological importance in Maharashtra which we do not know of.
"How wonderful it would be if we can initiate a campaign to inform people," he said, offering his own services.

He also complained about the prohibitive costs and plethora of permissions required to shoot in the city.

"Lots of us are moving out for locations because there are problems that we have seeking permissions to shoot within the city and sometimes they are so oppressive that we say no, we rather go out rather than face the problems," he said.

Producer Ekta Kapoor said it costs Rs 2.5 lakh to shoot at the historical Gateway of India here against Rs 1.25 lakh at New Delhi's India Gate.

Tourism and culture secretary Valsa Nair Singh said the state has prepared a master plan for the Film City which includes a Bollywood museum, a section for Marathi plays and an amusement park. "The proposal will go before cabinet soon," she said.

She also said there are plans to reduce number of permissions needed to set up hotels from 146 to 20.

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