Where all those good-old movie theatres?

Posted on: June 19, 2007

I still remember of days when I was a kid. Whenever my dad used to come home early, it’s sure that we’re going out for a movie. Obviously it will be a Kannada movie, since my father was a great fan of Kannada and I’ve inherit that. I never remember of seeing a movie of different region/language other than Kannada with my family(sometimes, I feel proud about that). We would’ve three main choices on theatres to make a visit. First Puttanna Kanagal Chitra Mandira(Jayanagar 4th Block), second Shanthi Talkies(South-End Road, Basavanagudi, Near Surana College) and lastly Nanda Talkies(Jayanagar 3rd Block, Near NMKRV College for Women) and would decide to go for one which has screened a popular movie of that season. Unfortunately if all ticket are sold out, we would jump for one of the rest out of two. Luckily, all were in a radius of 2kms with different show timings.

Now let’s come to the point. It’s time to think that where all these theatres now. These three prime theatres for most middle-class families around Jayanagar-Basavanagudi is already in extinction.

It all started with Shanthi Talkies(South-End Road) during year 2001. Shanthi attracted lots of Basavanagudi residents and even lots of Jayanagarites too. Shanthi Talkies was quite familiar for its management. One of my senior mentor had worked as manager in that talkies during 1980s. Most of student who bunk classes in APS College can be easily spotted waiting in queue outside the theatre. The theatre was grounded within a short notice. After demolition the land was kept empty for quite some time. Later a petrol bunk got erected, that went for some time. In the year 2003 the petrol bunk has been uprooted and now stands a 6 storeyed Caritor Software Development Centre. The last movie I saw in Shanthi is Ravichandran’s “Usire”.

Next comes Puttanna Kanagal Chitra Mandira, It’s like a multiplex for us then. It had a state-of-art interiors with good quality chairs, screen, acoustics, staff and facility. It was little expensive than other nearby theaters and it’s in heart of Jayanagar shopping hub. It is one of my favourite theatres. During 2002, It has been seen and heard about that theatre is in financial loss. Initially there were only few shows running, gradually the theatre stopped operating. One fine day it has locked-out. After some time it has been converted into Jayanagar Traffic Circle Police Station(amazing! theatre to police station). Later, even police has vacated the place. Now it’s a empty hall with no activity in it. The only thing are in use is its billboard holders, using it to stick the movie promotion hoardings for free of upcoming movies going to run in other theatres. The theatre has not been demolished yet, possible reason is it’s been funded by Karnataka Government and it’s not so easy to sell the property. The last movie I saw here was “Thavarige Baa Thangi(my mother’s favourite)”.

Lastly, Nanda Theatre and is the one most Jayanagarites love to go. Because it had a highest seating capacity than any other nearby theatres. Nice acoustics, interiors & artistic exterior to add. It’s again been heard that running under loss and lack of maintenance. Nanda Theatre is one elite place where only Kannada movies are screened like Puttanna Kanagal Chitra Mandira. It stopped functioning during end of 2006. Now the theatre is under demolition drive. Even if you make a visit near Nanda Theatre today, you can still witness the demolition progress. Hope this could be again any other commercial establishments. The last movie I saw here is Nagathihalli’s “America America”.

Most plausible reasons for the closure of these theatres:

  • Scarcity of good kannada movies
  • Poor collection
  • Management problems
  • Increased maintenance expenses
  • Increased real estate prices
  • Tax burden

Now we are left out with very few good old theatres to cheer erstwhile memories like Urvashi, Navarang etc; Sometimes we need to conform ourselves to low facility theatres around like Sri Venkateshwara, Eshwari, Kamakhya etc; else give a hard kick to your valet in any of cozy multiplexes. Yah! that sounds great.


6 Responses to "Where all those good-old movie theatres?"

No film story this!

Very timely post, Balu. well researched too!
Towards my side of the city, Geethanjali, Central and Kino have closed too. Feels really sad.

Awesome Shetre..,

U hav missed Uma. Shanthi and Uma talkies are owned by same Person. So, he is still in Kannada Movie screening Business. Puttanna theater was in Pathetic Condition and it needs renovation. Alongwith Shopping complex it may soon Turn into a Mall!!!!

Nanda was recently shut down. So sad to NMKRV gals!!

The Theater owners hav their owm Problem. I feel we need more multiplxes.


Uma is running successfully. Nim kempu drushti haaki adannu lock-out maadisbedi gurugale.

Hi Bala,

After reading this Blog, I remember having seen Kannada (particularly Rajkumar’s) movies in Nanda & Shanthi Threatres when I was studying in Old Fort High School – in 1968/69. Ofcourse, I had seen many kannda movies in (between 1965 & 1969) Bharath Talkies in JC Road – now probably converted into multiple automobile shops!!!!!

Yeah…now I remember Shivaji Talkies on same JC Road – the owner was a MLA of our area (cubbon pet). When he won election first time – probably 1968/69 – two days it was free entry for everybody in this theatre – now converted into Tarpaulin shop!!!!!

Sometimes these flashbacks takes us into good old memories!!!!

Very nice, keep writing such blogs.


Dear Ananda,

It feels good to read about your nostalgia of school & Rajkumar movie days. Thanks a lot for those inspiring words. I’ll try my best to deliver quality articles in this blog.

With Thanks,
Balachandra Shetty

PS: Ananda is one favourite person most of us in the company love for. He works as Manager-Administration. Passion for adventure runs through his veins.

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