A few months ago, we had heard that Bhoothnath Returns was an attempt to revive the BR Chopra banner but now it has emerged that both its dubbing studios have been shut down. The studios — one of which was set up in 1971 and the other in 1983 — were apparently shut down after the recording for Bhoothnath Returns was over and now their staff is also said to have left.
An insider reveals that the studio staff was asked to leave one by one. “Now only an electrician is working here and everyone else has already left. The studio’s equipment too has been sold; there was a beautiful lift in there and that too has been sold. For the outside world, the studio is under renovation but we know that the studio has been shut. Why will the staff be asked to leave if the studio was just under renovation? The staff strength was 20-22 people but now they are no longer working here,” says the source.
Bhoothnath Returns (above) was the last film to have its recordings done at the BR Chopra dubbing studios
Turns out that it was around last year that people working in the studio first got a whiff of things to come. Interestingly, some people seem to have got their salaries while some others are apparently struggling to get it. BN Tiwari, President, Sound Artist Association, who worked at one of the studios, says, “Yes, Bhoothnath Returns was the last film the studio did and the studio has shut down now. It is appalling to see such big studios shut down. I won recognition only thanks to these dubbing studios. I left in 1996 and then my wife, who is Asia’s first woman sound recordist, left sometime in 2008. It was a dream studio, but now it stands shattered.”
Another source says that the younger Chopras thought it was better to shut down the studios owing to the many litigations it is currently facing. “The owners plan to put them for sale,” says the source.
When contacted, Abhay Chopra, Ravi Chopra’s son who owns the dubbing studio, said that the studios have been shut down temporarily. “They have been shut down for renovations and upgrading,” was his reply.