Forgotten Places of Mumbai: A walk through India’s first Cinema Museum the paradise for film lovers

India’s first Cinema Museum, located in India’s entertainment capital, Mumbai, is a paradise for any film and theatre lover

Vaishnavi SharmaUpdated: Friday, January 20, 2023, 09:03 PM IST
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India’s first Cinema Museum, located in India’s entertainment capital, Mumbai, is a paradise for any film and theatre lover. The journey and development of Indian cinema are vividly and accurately illustrated. It also features famous songs, movies, and movie posters that you can see as you tour the museum. Famous figures such as Satyajit Ray and Mahatma Gandhi have been honoured with statues erected to commemorate their contributions to Indian cinema.

The museum is dispersed among the two expansive floors of the Gulshan Mahal. There are two buildings. The new museum building houses the modern, technological tools used in filmmaking along with some fun and interactive exhibitions. In January 2019 at the Films Division Complex on Pedder Road, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the Museum a ceremonial opening.

The new museum building has five levels and is divided into sections that each cover a different aspect of cinema. For instance, there is an animation floor that uses interactive technology to let you experience and learn about the effects used in movies. There is a screen put there where one can create a frame-to-frame animation by themselves and watch it play on the screen above. One can view the black and white movie shots being played on the screen, peep in the Kaleidoscope, click some fun background images in the green screen room, utilize the soundstage, editing floor, and other areas to comprehend the process that goes behind making a film. While one goes through all these, one can’t help but realize how far cinema has progressed. 

A real delight for movie buffs, the museum’s walls are covered with quotes of none other than the Father of Cinema, Satyajit Ray. In addition, you may witness a wax statue created in his honour as soon as you enter the museum. There is a small area with benches where people may sit and watch movies on a projector screen, just like in old times. 

Not just the inside, but also the outside of the museum leaves one in awe and splendour. The site is housed in Gulshan Mahal, a Victorian bungalow that dates back to the 19th century and was turned into a museum. The English-style architecture reminds you of the old Bombay which was home to the British once upon a time. The Jali work of Mahal, with its astral colours strikingly different from the beautiful, green garden around the museum, makes the museum unique and aesthetical while maintaining the old charm. There are also small galleries on the ground floor, where one can stand and absorb the garden view and take some pictures. The whole ambience is calm and pleasant throughout. Simply put, the place transports you to a completely different time. 

The cost of entry to the museum is approximately Rs 20, which is used as a maintenance charge. The museum opens all days of the week 11 am to 6 pm, except for Mondays. To fully experience the place, one needs about two to three hours in hand. It is quite similar to watching a movie.If you are someone who loves to explore the old places of Bombay and at the same time are a fan of Cinema, you should visit here once and then you will just keep visiting again by yourself and still not get done. It has so much to offer just like Cinema always does!

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