Sunday, September 20, 2009

No more shows

Raghupathy Venkiah was one of the first in Madras to foresee the potential of cinema. Though his first cinema theatre, 'Gaiety', was the third in Madras after Mrs. Klug's 'Bioscope' and Warwick Major's 'Electric Theatre', he lasted much longer in the business. Soon after setting up Gaiety just off Mount Road in 1914, he went to heart of the city and set up 'Crown' next to the Mint, in 1916. These were followed by 'Globe' (later renamed 'Roxy') at Purasawakkam in 1918.

The last of the three had the shortest life; it was shut down sometime in the mid 1990s. That building was used as an exhibition hall for a while, but was pulled down a few years ago. Gaiety has also given way, the empty lot being used for the filming of 'Kanthaswamy' recently. Nothing remains of those two theatres, but the Crown is slightly different. It has also shut down, but it is the only one of the three that still has a part of its facade standing, just fronting the empty lot behind. It will not last many weeks, however.

Wonder if the 'Imperial', the fourth of Raghupathy Venkiah's theatres, is still standing. It is in Madurai, however, so I'll have to wait for someone from that city to let me know!

1 comment:

Vishnu said...

oh.. tha ks for the info..