Revisit the single-screen cinema halls of yore at a heritage walk in Grant Road

Oct 14, 2018, 12:30 IST | A Correspondent

A Sahapedia heritage walk led by architect and urban designer Neethu Mathew, and Urvashi Chudawala, who is pursuing her masters in media and culture from TISS, will uncover the story behind the rise and fall of these secret gems from Grant Road

Revisit the single-screen cinema halls of yore at a heritage walk in Grant Road

Until 50 years ago, South Mumbai's Grant Road area was the hub for filmmakers and cinema lovers, alike. With several single screen theatres and movie plazas nestled in the area, it was but, the obvious choice for premiere shows for most leading production houses. All of this changed with the coming in of multi-screen theatres in the 90s. Today, most of the single-screen talkies are lying in a state of disrepair and disuse. Others continue to run on a pitiable diet of old Indian classics and Bhojpuri movies.

A Sahapedia heritage walk led by architect and urban designer Neethu Mathew, 27, and Urvashi Chudawala, 21, who is pursuing her masters in media and culture from TISS, will uncover the story behind the rise and fall of these secret gems from Grant Road. The walk, which will begin from New Roshan Talkies, will also cover Super Plaza, and Alfred, Nishat and Royal cinemas. The plazas, says Chudawala, usually functioned like a business centre for production houses. "The plaza used to be a huge single theatre with offices of most of the distribution companies. The film would premiere here; the distributors would pick up the films from here, and then screen it in other theatres across the city," says Chudawala.

These halls, which have a capacity of 800 to 1,000 seats, enjoyed a dream run during the golden years of cinema. However, with the coming in of multiplexes and digital technology, the theatres which ran on reel, found it hard to sustain. "Even today, because of the strict regulations and land use policy, some of the owners are unable to shut shop or switch businesses. It's a daily struggle for them," says Chudawala, "But their passion for cinema still continues."

WHEN: 4 PM – 6 PM
MEETING POINT: Outside Kakori House, MS Ali Road, Grand Road
To register: 9920557729

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