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A cine walk to remember

Published : Aug 31, 2016, 9:47 pm IST
Updated : Aug 31, 2016, 9:47 pm IST

A walk across some of the oldest cinema theatres in the city will open up treasure troves of stories

A walk across some of the oldest cinema theatres in the city will open up treasure troves of stories

Learn more about Mumbai through a unique walk themed around cinema and architecture. Cine Walk, curated by Nikita Rana will take enthusiasts across some of the oldest and single screen theatres, where she will share interesting facts about the history of the buildings interlaced with bits and pieces of film history.

“My interest stems from heritage and conservation,” says Nikita, further adding, “Rhythm House is gone, and I’m afraid we are slowly losing these beautiful buildings. Earlier the southern part of the city would be filled with art-loving youth, but today most of them swarm in and around Bandra and other such place. So, in a way, it was my attempt to attract people to the these places and acquaint them to the past glories of these areas.”

“I have realised that many people in the city have no idea about the history of the city, and these cinema theatres are a good place to start from,” she says.

In his famous TV documentary, Lord Kenneth Clarke says, “If I must choose a speech of the housing minister or the buildings he put up I’ll believe the latter.” Architecture, he believed, speaks volumes about a civilisation. On a similar spirit, Nikita will take the enthusiasts to Edward Cinema, Metro Cinema, New Empire Cinema, New Excelsior Cinema and Eros Cinema.

To give a glimpse of the tour, she says she will be sharing several interesting anecdotes. “For example, it is believed that the basement at Edward cinema is haunted. But there are people living in there unperturbed — they says the ghost is friendly,” she says. The theatre is known for selling tickets for Rs18 even today.

“I will also be talking a bit about the history of art deco and Gothic structures in the city. Interestingly enough, these art deco buildings came up in the 1920s and 30s, when the Indian Nationalist Movement was reaching its peak. So on the one hand you had the austere, minimalist aesthetics of Gandhiji, and on the other hand you had these loud and extravagant art deco structures,” she points out. Shedding further light into the families of the architectures, she continues, “Most of these owners were opulent businessmen from Rangoon and elsewhere. Most of them took a lot of loan and built these places solely for entertainment purposes. Often they didn’t even make enough profit. In fact, most of their loans were paid back by the second of third generation of their families.

According to Nikita, these walks are also a good way for people to interact closely with each other. “I find that very important. With technology, maybe our lives have become much simpler, but it is also true that people are growing extremely lonely. Today, people are much more individualistic and ambitious. And heritage plays a big part in building consensus, there’s a common nostalgia. And that’s why you will find violence is often directed towards heritage sites. Therefore, as a country we should cherish and guard our history. And this is my humble way to play a part,” she concludes.

From September 3, 6 pm onwards, meeting Point: BIG Cinemas Dhobi Talao Near CST and Marine Lines Station, For enquiries: 9820598468 Registration fee: Rs 999