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Many made the headlines upon closing down after decades of blockbuster shows. Many others drew the curtains without even getting the much-deserved farewells. Sure, the glamour of single-screen cinema halls in India has faded over the years, but the spotlight hasn’t gone away completely. Grab your popcorn and sit tight—we have the list of three most legendary single-screens where you can catch a show post lockdown! By Sushmita Srivastav
Red carpets, silver jubilee shows, 1,000-seater halls packed to capacity, and houseful boards showing off filled coffers—there was a time when the doors of single-screen theatres in India saw herds of movie-lovers flocking and elbowing just to get in. But ever since the multiplex giants started mushrooming across the country and later, OTT channels began to take over the mass entertainment sector, the interest of the fans shifted. Since the last decade, a concerning number of these standalone theatres had to shut shop.
All hope is not lost, though. There are many that bore the brunt and emerged as iconic winners. If you haven’t already, book your next ticket at these three legendary cinema halls for an old-school, nostalgic movie-watching experience.
Maratha Mandir, Mumbai
For 25 years, the fabled Bollywood romance, Dil Wale Dulhaniya Le Jaenge, has been running in Maratha Mandir at sharp 11:30 am every day ever since it released in 1995. That’s 1,300 weeks and counting. It was the first time in over two decades when the theatre had to call off the shows amid lockdown. However, a 1958-built landmark in the city promises to be back right after things go back to normalcy.
Opened back in 1985, Nandan, one of Kolkata’s oldest theatres recently got a facelift after a long wait. Home to regional and world cinema for 35 years now, the iconic hall got a brand new installation of a vintage camera right at the entrance, posters of iconic cinema faces on the walls, chandeliers glimmering at the top, and a massive screen to stare at. But the experience of watching a movie here still remains the same—evocative and priceless to say the least.
Raj Mandir, Jaipur
Looking little short of a royal palace and Disneyland mix, Raj Mandir was established in 1976 and its colossal meringue-shaped auditorium has been screening Bollywood flicks ever since. While all of its 1,200 seats are usually filled up with cheering locals and tourists alike, its royal pink art-deco interiors evoke a sense of opulence. So much so that people often compare it to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in the US.