Mumbai: After seven decades of its successful run, Mumbai’s legendary Chitra Cinema, which had made a place in people’s hearts, has shut down. Curtains were drawn on the iconic theatre, located in Dadar East, due to poor business. The single screen auditorium stopped operating yesterday, and the last screening was of Tiger Shroff-starrer ‘Student Of The Year 2’ at 9:30 pm.
Dara Mehta, who is the third generation owner of the cinema hall, revealed that the theatre wasn’t minting good money. He shared that the business on weekdays was poorer. Mehta had taken over the business of Chitra cinema from his father in 1982. Speaking to ANI, Mehta said on weekends, the cinema hall would witness good footfalls, but on weekdays, it hardly added any collection to the business.
“I was very young then, but I remember that Junglee ran for over 25 years,” Dara reminisced.
Mehta went on to share that they haven’t decided yet if they will sell this land to anyone for private projects. The single-screen theatre served as the ultimate destination for Hindi film buffs who would line up to watch films like Sholay, Deewar, and several other blockbusters. Some of the most iconic Hindi films have been screened at the cinema including Jackie Shroff’s ‘Hero’, which released in 1983. In 1961, Shammi Kapoor’s ‘Junglee’ was released and it ran for nearly 25 years, marking its silver jubilee, which was a rare feat to achieve in those days.
As per media reports, Chitra cinema was one of the first air-conditioned theatres in Mumbai.
The news of the cinema hall shutting down did not seem to go well with Mumbaikars either, as a number of them took to Twitter to express their angst.
A Twitter user wrote, “Mumbai’s Iconic Standalone Chitra Cinema located in Dadar is all set for curtains down tonight. The rate at which these single screens are shutting down is really a concern.”
Another user expressed his discontent, writing, “One of my favourite single-screen cinemas in Mumbai, Chitra Cinema to close down its operations from tomorrow….I’m heartbroken. The most recent film I had watched there was Kesari on Holi & it was housefull.”
A user reminisced his memories in the iconic theatre and tweeted, ” LAST DAY .. THIS IS SHOCKING .. CURTAINS FOR THE ICONIC #ChitraCinema IN DADAR .. watched so many films right from my childhood to college days and even now .. still remember standing for the ADVANCE BOOKING of GADAR for 1 hour . movies have lost its charm.”
“So sad in fact chitra runs to packed capacity still surprised why it’s shutting down .. infact premier in dadar should shut down,” another user tweeted.
Seems like single-screen theatres are reducing in numbers. With the emergence of more and more multiplexes, several iconic single-screen cinemas are losing their charm and shutting down. Reportedly, nearly 40 single-screen theatres were shut down last year.
As per media reports, earlier this year, it was announced that Juhu’s Chandan Cinema will be replaced by two mini-multiplexes. Eros Cinemas located near Churchgate railway station, Mumbai had also stopped operating a few years ago.