MUMBAI’S ICONIC CHANDAN CINEMA CLOSES FOR RENOVATION


The iconic single screen theater Chandan Cinema, located in suburban Juhu, has shut down its operation with Akshay Kumar’s Kesari being the last film to release here. The single-screen theater has been closed for renovation and will reopen after three years, Sameer Joshi, owner of the cinema hall, said. A number of single-screen theaters in the city have shut down, the most recent being Eros Cinema at Churchgate and Naaz Cinema at Grant Road, due to the rise of the multiplex culture and low ticket sales. Chandan cinema was built in 1974. “It is a very nostalgic and emotional moment for us.

We started with Bobby. It has been a long journey for us. We have had high occupancy. But then not much films are made for masses and with the advent of multiplexes, a new genre of films are being made so our occupancy was not much. Till six years ago, it was houseful,” Sameer Joshi, owner of Chandan cinema, told PTI. In its 46 years of existence, Joshi said the theater has tried to counter every major threat from VCRs, multiplexes, piracy and streaming platforms. “Also demographics play an important part. We had too many multiplexes coming up.

Ticket prices went up and there are people who wait to watch a film on TV. There is piracy. We have always updated and stayed with time like we had 4K projector for Kesari,” he added. Sameer Joshi was four-years-old when his father Baijanath Joshi, a businessman who dealt in plastics, built the theater for his wife Chandrakanta, fondly called Chandan. “The story behind the birth of this theatre is one of the greatest untold love stories of my father and mother,” Joshi said. Asked if the name of the revamped version of the theater would remain the same, Joshi said,

Mumbai’s iconic single screen theatre Chandan cinema closed for renovation
 “The name will be the same and currently nothing is decided about the format. All this will take three years to come up. This time we will have three screens.” Expressing his sadness over the shutdown, filmmaker Karan Johar posted on Twitter, “Chandan (Juhu) is a cinema that I tracked ever since I can remember! A barometer for audience reactions! Heartbreaking to see this era end! The only respite is that the last film played will have been ours! #kesariatchandan.”