The Art-Deco style Eros Cinema was designed by architect Shorabji Bhedwar and opened in 1938. The red Agra sandstone
twin buildings meet up in a central block
The New Excelsior Cinema at Fort is one of those single screen halls that have managed to thrive despite several multi-screen halls in South Mumbai. The hall has its loyal band of followers who still come to watch a movie here despite the obvious lure of multiplexes
The Regal Cinema was built during the cinema boom of the 1930s during which Plaza Central, Broadway, Eros, Metro and others also opened in Mumbai. Regal was designed by Charles Stevens, the son of the famous 19th century architect, FW Stevens. It was fully air conditioned, and had an underground parking lot even back then. The elevator up from the parking area was a major innovation at the time.
In the 19th century, Alfred Talkies was called the Ripon Theatre. It was one of Bombay’s first theatres to regularly produce European and domestic drama in local dialects. In 1925, the theatre was renovated and renamed in order to accommodate the growing demand for motion pictures. Today it is a pale shadow of the past.
The Empire Theatre was designed in a Baroque style by architect Arthur Payne. It opened as a live theatre on February 21, 1908. It was re-named New Empire Cinema in 1937. Renovation was carried out here in 1996, and the cinema returned to its former glory, with the interior being one of the finest Art Deco style interiors in Mumbai Pics/ Sameer Sayed Abedi and Bipin Kokate
Deepak Cinema in Lower Parel, one of Mumbai’s oldest single screen halls, has managed to survive, albeit barely. While its old companion, the Deepak restaurant also continues to operate today it shares space with the top-end Hard-Rock Cafe next door.
New Roshan Talkies, situated opposite Delhi Darbar near Grant Road was opened around 1930 by a Parsi family. Today it barely survives by selling tickets at low rates of Rs 20 or Rs 25.
Liberty Cinema: Built in 1947, Liberty Cinema is an excellent example of Art Deco cinema hall. Since it was built in 1947, its founder Habib Hoosein decided to name it “Liberty”. In its hey days, movies such as Mother India, ran for a whole year here, (October 1957 to 1958). Almost three decades later, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun ran for 105 weeks in regular shows and 16 weeks in the matinee show from 1994 to 1996. The iconic hall stopped screening films late last year.
Initially, the Royal Talkies would screen documentaries and stage plays. But from the 1930s they started showing Hindi films. At its peak, this 600-seater auditorium would be packed to capacity. Located at Mumbai Central, the New Royal Talkies retains much of its old world charm