An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Chanakya Cinema passes into history

rajkapoor2.jpgA whole generation of movie goers have grown up in Delhi watching Hollywood and good Bollywood movies in South Delhi’s Chanakya theater.

This 1076 seat hall with an annual attendance of 850,000 and a turnover of Rs 15 million, started off in 1970 with “Mera Naam Joker” and the screening of the 9-45 p.m. show of “Taare Zameen Par” at Chanakya cinema here on night of December 27, 2007 marked the end of the journey for this cinema hall which marked high of good cinema. The father and son Rajesh and Aditya Khanna have been running this hall since 1970.

The decision to close and vacate the place comes due to a Supreme Court judgment paving the way for the New Delhi Municipal Council to raze the theatre complex and build a multiplex-cum-mall on a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis.

It is befitting that for this hall which reverbrated with the words in its first screening:

Kal Khel Mein Hum Ho Na Ho
Gardish Mein Taare Rahenge Sada
Bhoolenge Hum Bhoologe Tum
Par Hum Tumhare Rahenge Sada
Rahenge Yahin Apne Nishan
Iske Siva Jana Kahan
Jeena Yahan …

.. is now giving way to new experience defining movie experience with a multiplex cum mall.

I still remember when I was a kid and I went to see the movie Benji way back in 1970’s. And then when I was in my 11th standard, we used to have Zodiac parties – where people from one Zodiac used to pool together and throw a party for the other classmates. It usually included a lunch/dinner and a movie. When it was the turn of us Leos, we went to Chanakya’s Nirulas for a Pizza party and then a movie in Chanakya.

A piece of Delhi of my generation now passes into history!

Do you have any memories of Chanakya? Please do share them here in the comments section…

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1 Comment
  1. Anonymous says

    After exams, iit-d crowd used to make it a ritual to go there. I’ve done so on quite an occasion. They mostly showed English movies while I was growing up in Delhi. I remember seeing quite a few there.

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