Remembering an ultimate handsome actor of Bollywood Shashi Kapoor on his 80th birth anniversary on March 18. He was a great actor as well as human being. We all know that Shashi Kapoor fulfilled his father Prithviraj Kapoor’s dream even after facing many problems in his life. Read in detail here:
How Prithvi theatre was formed
Prithviraj Kapoor dreamt of a permanent home for his 150 members travelling theatre group, Prithvi theatre. After 16 years of his death, his youngest son, Shashi and his wife Jennifer took it upon themselves to realise the dream, giving birth to the most iconic theatre ‘Prithvi’ in Mumbai. Prithvi theatre opened on November 5, 1978.
Shashi Kapoor bought the two plots and set up the Shri Prithviraj Kapoor memorial Trust. In a letter to her sister, Felicity Kendal, in London, Jennifer Kapoor wrote, ‘Shashi is mad, he wants to build a theatre.’ But in an inerview with leading daily Jennifer said that, ‘Back in 1962, when the shed was constructed, the idea was to use it for rehearsals and even performances. But it was extremely badly designed. An L-shaped auditorium was hardly the best option for rehearsals, let alone performances.’
“Prithvi Theatre is like a shrine, which has given an opportunity to so many struggling aspirants. His contribution to the alternate cinema movement is huge,” said veteran film-maker Mahesh Bhatt.
How land of theatre was alloted by the government
Once Shashi Kapoor recalls that, ‘The government did not know how to handle something like this. They had never given permission for a public building which was not quite public — in the sense that it was a private theatre. We had to bully people for permissions. My cousin, Vicky Kapoor, who was a lawyer, helped us through the legal tussles.’
[alert type=”e.g. warning, danger, success, info” title=””]When Shashi Kapoor had first come up with the idea of setting up a theatre, the then governor, Ali Yavar Jung, had offered him land in the Bandra Reclamation Area (where the Rang Sharda Hotel and auditorium now stand). Architect Ved Segan had designed actress Raakhee’s house, which Shashi and Jennifer had liked very much. So, they invited him to design the interiors of Shashi’s film production company, Film-valas, in Worli, and subsequently, Prithhvi Theatre.[/alert]
Prithvi Theatre taken over by his son Kunal and daughter Sanjana Kapoor
Handsome hunk Shashi Kapoor in not between us as he died on December 3, 2017 due to chest infection at Kokilaben hospital in Mumbai. But when Jennifer passed away in 1984, Shahshi ji never got over his wife’s demise, although he continued to be associated with the festivals of theatre. His eldest son Kunal took charge of the theatre and was soon joined by his daughter Sanjana, who carried on the legacy through the 1990s.