Almost an year ago, that is on December 29, 2011, a little bit of
’s heritage passed into the realms of history. The reel life merged into the real life, finally showing that the reel could only imitate real for some time and not for all times. Bangalore
The reel of Elgin Talkies, one of
South India’s oldest theatre, finally stopped, albeit permanently.
An iconic theatre, the
Elgin situated in the erstwhile Blackpalli area which subsequently became Shivajinagar, was a reminder of the once glorious past of . But not anymore. The theatre finally shut shop in 2011 after several decades of showing reel life to people. Bangalore
Apart from being one of the oldest theatre in south
India, has also the distinction of being run by the same family for the entire duration of its operation. Elgin
The Mudaliar family built the theatre in 1896 and remember this was the year that Luminere brothers came to
(now Mumbai) and demonstrated a reel of silent cinema. Since then, Elgin had remained a part of Bangalore’s priceless heritage, adored by the family that built it, revered by the knowledgble film buffs and cheered on by the audiences that came to feel the first hand experience of one of the oldest buildings of Bangalore. Bombay
Four generations of the Mudaliar family took care of the
right from its inception by Veerabhadra Mudaliar. The Elgin remained the same till 1996 when it came to be first renovated. Till then, nothing had changed at Elgin and even time had stood still. Elgin
Though the viewers came in droves, the seating arrangement which was put in place in 1896 remained the same for exactly one hundred years. It was only in 1996, that new seating made its presence felt.
However, many other things in the
remained the same. The Simplex manual Projector, which is unique because it has an inbuilt audio system, was still being used. It was installed first in Elgin sometime in 1931. The projector needed constant care and spares were available in Elgin itself. Bangalore
closed down after one last hurrah at the box office, the projector was still in running condition. Elgin
Like its building, the projector too passed into history. And very much like the
, the projector too had its share of limelight. Elgin
goes the credit of being part of Indian film history when it screened the first Hindi movie ever made-Alam Ara-in 1932. Elgin
The projector has screened itself into celluloid history-showing silent films from 1907 to 1932 and later Hindi classics and potboilers.
Unlike the modern projectors, the Simplex manual needs two men to operate. While one person operates the machine for the show, the other has to roll out the used reels back for the next show.
Even today, residents of Shivajinagar and scores of old-timers recollect how they paid just 60 paise for a ticket at the stalls and Rs 1.95 for the balcony. The balcony was closed a few years ago but the ticket costed about Rs. 25.
When it closed down,
had four shows. Elgin
In 1939, the
was transformed into a cinema theatre from earlier being a talkies. Till them it had catered to audiences for plays and dramas. It was a real treat to watch a movie here as the many small eateries around the theatre had mouth watering food. Elgin
In 1939, the
Though away from the Gandhinagar crowd,
managed to make a name for itself. Elgin