In the days of bubbling Multiplexes around the city, we have almost forgotten about the time when we Jaipurites used to go to single screen cinema halls for entertainment !
There are many reasons for the loss of single screen cinemas in the city, the major reason being the rise of multiplexes, better technology and quality, and most importantly the range of options that multiplexes provide to us. It’s clearly impossible to find the time in our busy schedules to go and watch movies with the 4 restricted show timings of 9 am, 12 noon, 3 pm and 9 pm. Movies are shorter now and you will hardly find anyone who will say “3 se 6 wala show chale?”
JAIPUR BEAT went on throwback ride along the city and visited the oldest cinema Halls of Jaipur. Some are working, a few have been renovated and some are just abandoned or in ruins. Just to live the forgotten nostalgia, we are here with a glimpse of some of these forgotten cinemas of the Pink City. If you are one of those few “cinephiles” and die-hard movie lovers then maybe you could skip the multiplex next time and go watch a movie in one of these few old cinemas of Jaipur which are still operating. You might not get the same comfort as a multiplex, but this definitely could be a different experience.
Prem Prakash – now Golcha
Situated in Chaura Raasta this movie hall’s claim to fame was that it came up with the first 70 mm cinema screen in Rajasthan. The hall also gained popularity for its delicious samosas which is now sold as Prem Prakash samosa . Some how it survived and revived with new wave and is now known as Golcha Cinema which has been converted from a single screen to multi screen theatre now.
Gem Cinema which at one point was the favorite among movie lovers somehow lost its battle to multiplexes and closed permanently. Now it is used as a parking spot for Saraogi Mansion, Bapu Bazaar and nearby areas. There was a time when Gem was the favorite choice for cine goers for its 10 am show for English movies especially those James Bond movies 🙂
Polo Victory Cinema
The game Polo is almost an integral part of Jaipur’s history. Not many are aware that Polo Victory Cinema hall reminds us of India’s Victory, when India won Polo World Cup in 1933. Owner of polo Victory Cinema Keshuram went to England with Indian team in the same year, so in memory he created Polo Victory Cinema. Then Governor of Independent India Lord Mountbatten inaugurated the Polo Victory Cinema. The audience had to wait for the tickets for as along as a months time. Close to Sindhi Camp bus station, this was one of the first cinemas of the city to be renovated to comply with the multiplex culture which came up in the city.
Man Prakash Cinema
While crossing the police memorial at Ajmeri Gate you would never think that instead of GTC which is a shopping complex there actually used to be a really famous cinema of Jaipur called Man Prakash.
Ram Prakash Cinema
The oldest cinema in Jaipur this was originally built as a theatre to adhere to the growing demand for entertainment in the budding city and probably was the first theatre to be built in Jaipur, where plays from around the country were conducted. This old cinema with its Indian architecture is situated at Chandi Ki Taksal. It is closed and Built in 1879 by Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II. It was closed down by the administration due to poor maintenance.
Moti Mahal cinema
Located in Bani Park on Sawai Jai Singh highway, this old cinema with its distinctive building is no longer working with some construction work going on.
One of the first few cinemas opened in Sanganer area, this theatre named a world famous diamond found in India has been renovated recently and is still showing movies.
An old cinema hall in Tonk Phatak, it was a famous among movie goers of Jaipur which is now getting renovated.
Situated near Ghat Gate, this cinema hall is working but definitely off the limits as they hardly show Bollywood movies also notorious for having two haunted seats !
Few remember it as Ganga Talkies which was later changed into Minerva.Named after a Roman goddess this old cinema near Sanganeri Gate is permanently closed and is used for parking now.
Situated at Zorawar Singh Gate, this single screen theatre with its pink building is still showing movies.
The oldest theatre in Brahmapuri area, this theatre with its uncommon architecture is closed indefinitely.
This small establishment at Dada Bari road is permanently shut but what caught our attention was the place for posters with “chal raha hai” and “aara hai” written above it.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of the wall city’s Nehru Bazaar Mayur Cinema was one major attraction. But now it has been converted into a shopping mall and is a major business center.
15. Raj Mandir
Raj Mandir is not just a Cinema Hall but the ‘Pride of Asia’ that opened on 1st June 1976 with the film “Charas”. Located at Paanch Batti, Raj Mandir is designed by architect W.M. Namjoshi, back then it was the only cinema hall with carpeted floor. Constructed in the Art Moderne Style of architecture, Raj Mandir was considered as the finest architecture building in the history of the cinema halls. The beautiful chandeliers, carpeted floors, crafted walls and everything about the place makes it a royal experience for the visitors. One can never forget the mouth watering Pyaar Ki Kachori being served there 😀 Now, it holds a position among top tourist destination of the city.
Nostalgic much ?