Sunday, January 11, 2015

Plaza Cinema, Dadar, Mumbai

- by Deepa Krishnan

Somebody in their wisdom has decided to redesign Plaza Cinema in Dadar. I am not happy.
Here is the old design that I used to like much better. More fun and interesting. And it acknowledged the beauty of the stupa at Sanchi, not to mention the big role of Ambedkar in reviving Buddhism. Ambedkar's chaityabhoomi is nearby in Shivaji Park. 
I understand the desire to turn it into a multiplex. Single screen theatres are not going to make money. I just wish the new design was not so "modern".

Also, it has all these little holes that are going to suck in dirt and I predict it will soon be a cobwebby mess. The dust and smoke at Plaza cinema signal is no joke. The rectangles sit oddly on the curved facade, if you ask me. The vegetable vendor in the sculpture thankfully is spared this modern thing, since his back is turned to it!
Plaza has a history of makeovers. The famous movie director V Shantaram bought it from a Parsi owner in the 30's. Several of Shantaram's hit movies ran here successfully. After his death, the theatre was leased out and became run-down. There was a bomb blast at the theatre in 1993, then it was shut down for 3 years. It was acquired by the Shantaram trust in 2005, redesigned and opened again, but has probably not been making much money since then. The trust has now again sold it to a corporate entity who has converted it to a multiplex.

Anyway - after this I consoled myself with a good home-style thali at Mama Kane. That is another old Dadar institution, and one which has not changed much!


Haddock said...

I remember watching Shantaram's Pinjra at Plaza.
The next time I am in Dadar, I will try out Mama Kane.

--------------- said...

I happened to stumble on this page by accident. Great blog and brings back so many memories of where I grew up. Further seeing the name of the blogger triggered another thought leading to this comment.. Are you, Deepa, daughter of KRK sir / SIES ? For the two names Janaki and Deepa appears to suggest a connection.
Nevertheless a great blog that I have bookmarked to return again often.

Kaustubh said...

Couldn't agree more. I am hoping the fa├žade is not yet done.

BTW, next time you are in Dadar and need consolation do try Varan-Bhaat at Aswad for a change.

Jaggu said...

I remember watching HAMRAAZ starring Sunil Dutt and Vimi at the Plaza cinema. Love those single cinema movie halls.By the way I was born and raised in Matunga. Love your blog.

Amardeep Singh Chauhan said...

Thanks for the news about Mumbai.