India’s Dying Single-Screen Theatres are Taking Her Cultural Heritage With Them

India's dying single-screen theatres are taking her cultural heritage with them Mohit Bansal Chandigarh

Being a 90s child is unique in and of itself. We have witnessed technological, societal, cultural, and other improvements. The conversion of single-screen theatres to multiscreen ones is one such development that is pretty obvious. Single screen theatres generally have 4 types of the seat which are as follow – Rear, Balcony, DC, and executive. Obviously, the tickets on single screens are much cheaper and whenever we go to single screens it feels iconic and we get all the Bollywood feels.  But it is revolting that single screens are dying and multiplexes have taken over. Yeah, they are more convenient and more comfortable but at the same time, they are pretty expensive. 

Here are some of India’s dying single-screen theatres that are taking their cultural heritage with them – 

1. Maratha Mandir 

From 1995 through 2015, the Bollywood hit “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge” was shown at this venerable theatre. In 1958, the year the theatre opened, the first film to be shown here was the classic “Sadhna,” starring Sunil Dutt and Vyjayanthimala. Another Bollywood classic, “Mughal-E-Azam,” had its world debut and spent the entire six years of its run here. The theatre has indeed experienced some beautiful times. Elephants and horses appeared to commemorate special occasions, and Dilip Kumar once made an impressive entrance on a horse. 

2. Lighthouse Kolkata

Lighthouse Kolkata

This cinema theatre opened its doors in 1934 to show Hollywood productions. It was one of Kolkata’s busiest movie theatres over a period of 70 years. It was one of India’s biggest movie theatres, with a 1,396-seat capacity that was ultimately reduced to 600. The theatre is situated in New Market’s bustling Humayun Place, a popular spot for eating and shopping. After 2000, Lighthouse began to experience significant losses, and in February 2002, the management made the decision to close the hall. The Lighthouse permanently closed its doors on February 22, 2002. 

3. Liberty, Churchgate

Liberty, Churchgate | Mohit Bansal Chandigarh

Because it was constructed in 1947, the year India attained independence, this theatre is unique. The first film to be released there was “Andaz,” starring Dilip Kumar, Nargis, and Raj Kapoor. It was one of Mumbai’s final art-deco theatres and could accommodate about 1,200 people. Liberty was struggling when the multiplex period began, therefore space was given away for stage performances, musicals, and movie shoots. Only in 2016 did Liberty reinvent itself by adding a new sound system, a new projector, and a silver screen in addition to putting in place an e-payment system for everything from tickets to refreshments. 

4. Everest Talkies, Bengaluru

 Everest Talkies, Bengaluru | Mohit Bansal Chandigarh

This hall, the oldest in Bengaluru and one of the last remaining instances of its kind, is a significant landmark in the thriving Frazer Town neighborhood of Bengaluru. It is more than 80 years old. Modern multiplexes may exist in India’s IT centers today, but Everest is where it all began. Since 1968, the same family has been the theatre’s owners. The theatre was first constructed in 1932. The theatre has aged with time yet continues to draw crowds because it is one of the few theatres that show documentaries today. Everest underwent a much-needed makeover in 2008 and now regularly shows Hindi, English, and Kannada films. 

5. Minerva Theatre 

Minerva Theatre | Mohit Bansal Chandigarh

This hall is unique because of the connection between its past and “Sholay,” one of Bollywood’s biggest box office hits. The movie premiered on August 15th, 1975, and Minerva screened it for five years in a row, from 1975 to 1980, with a steady stream of fans. Founded in the late 1960s, Minerva underwent renovations in the 1970s. The first film to be shown here following the renovation was “Lal Patthar” in 1971. Almost all major motion pictures at the period had their world premieres at Minerva, and the theatre’s manager, Sushil Mehra, told LiveMint that he remembers every major actor entering the theatre, from Amitabh Bachchan to Sanjeev Kumar, Dharmendra, and Hema Malini.

These were some of the amazing iconic single-screen theatres which you should check out before they die and go out of business! 

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