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Mumbai's iconic single screen theatre Chanda Cinema closed for renovation

A number of single-screen theatres in the city have shutdown, the most recent being Eros Cinema at Churchgate and Naaz Cinema at Grant Road, due to multiplex culture.

Published: 31st March 2019 07:56 PM  |   Last Updated: 31st March 2019 07:56 PM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose only.

By PTI

MUMBAI: The iconic single screen theatre Chandan Cinema, located in suburban Juhu, has shutdown its operation with Akshay Kumar's "Kesari" being the last film to release here.

The single-screen theatre has been closed for the renovation and will reopen after three years, owner of the cinema hall, Sameer Joshi, said.

A number of single-screen theatres in the city have shutdown, the most recent being Eros Cinema at Churchgate and Naaz Cinema at Grant Road, due to the rise of the multiplex culture and low ticket sales.

Chandan cinema was built in 1974 and since then it has been one of the most favourite places for movie goers.

"It is very nostalgic and emotional moment for us. We started with 'Bobby' it has been a long journey for us. We have had high occupancy. But then not much films are made for masses and with the advent of multiplexes, a new genre of films are being made so our occupancy was not much. Till six years ago it was houseful," owner of Chandan cinema Sameer Joshi, told PTI.

In its 46 years of existence, Joshi said the theatre has tried to counter every major threat from VCRs, multiplexes, piracy and streaming platforms.

"Also demographics play an important part. We had too many multiplexes coming up. Ticket prices went up and there are people who wait to watch a film on TV, there is piracy. We have always updated and stayed with time like we had 4K projector for 'Kesari'," he added.

Joshi was four-years-old when his father Baijanath Joshi, a businessman who dealt in plastics, built the theatre for his wife Chandrakanta, fondly called Chandan.

"The story behind the birth of this theatre is one of the greatest untold love stories of my father and mother," Joshi said.

Asked if the name of the revamped version of the theatre would remain the same, Joshi said, "The name will be the same and currently nothing is decided about the format. All this will take three years to come up. This time we will have three screens."

Expressing his sadness over the shutdown, filmmaker Karan Johar, posted on Twitter, "Chandan (Juhu) is a cinema that I tracked ever since I can remember! A barometer for audience reactions! Heartbreaking to see this era end! The only respite is that the last film played will have been ours! #kesariatchandan."

Karan was one of the producers on Akshay's "Kesari".

Director Kunal Kohli tweeted, "The romanticism of single screens is what drove generations of filmmakers. The new crop of filmmakers will sadly never know the magic of your film being accepted in a single screen. That connect is what we make/made films for."

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