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old Metro Cinema
Metro Adlabs

Metro BIG Cinema[1] (earlier Metro Adlabs (2006–2008), previously Metro Cinema (1938–2006)) is a famous cinema in Bombay, India. In 1938 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) acquired the land and built the cinema. The main architect of the cinema was Thomas W. Lamb of New York, and D. W. Ditchburn (Senior partner of the architectural firm Ditchburn Mistry and Bhedwar) of Bombay was the associate architect. It is located in the Dhobitalao area.

Contents

History

The Art Deco cinema opened on 8 June 1938, and initially exhibited movies made by MGM. The interior, floors, walls, ceilings as well as the furniture, was in shades of red and pink. The marble foyer and staircases led up to murals executed by students of the J. J. School of Art, under the director Charles Gerard. Among the famous invitees was Gregory Peck. And if the films were classy, so was the audience at Metro. The ushers wore suits and the soda fountain provided excellent bar snacks and service.

In 1970, the cinema was taken over by the Gupta family and with Indianisation came the era of screening Hindi films and flashy, glittering, star-studded premieres. Raj Kapoor's Bobby set the trend and when RK released Satyam Shivam Sundaram in typical monsoon fury, the guests were delighted when the young Kapoor brothers — Randhir, Rishi and Rajeev — opened their car doors, held umbrellas over their heads and led them inside.

It soon became Bollywood's most famous red-carpet theatre. The star presence at Metro became so huge that most often riot police had to be called in at film premieres.

Transformation into multiplex

Despite such achievements, Metro could not stand up to the multiplex invasion, it was becoming difficult to fill up the 1,491 seats. The promoters decided to transform the old cinema into a multiplex, while also restoring its original art-deco interiors. The cinema was acquired by Adlabs Cinemas and in the start of 2005, the cinema closed down.

After a massive retrofitting job in August 2006, the cinema re-opened. Keeping with its famous red-carpet reputation, the cinema re-opened in its new avatar with the much anticipated Karan Johar Movie "Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna". The cinema now has six screens, which are among the largest multiplex screens in Mumbai. It has been renovated keeping its old heritage look. Today the cinema has restored it spacious and beautiful look, artistic murals, glittering chandeliers, rich drapery, and Italian marble flooring.

Mumbai's glitterati were obviously thrilled and thronged the first movie. "It was the grandest cinema of my younger days," says the would-be Actor Abhishek Bachchan. "I experienced goose pimples whenever I approached the entrance. I was nervous before driving to the opening. I was thrilled that the hair on my skin still stood up as I entered again after all these years"

Other highlights are the specially designed seats and an ebony lounge with 30 reclining seats, small dining tables and hi-tech restrooms with LCDs showing trailers and movie trivia.

References

  1. ^ http://www.bigcinemas.com/index.asp

External links

Coordinates: 18°56′34.6″N 72°49′43.67″E / 18.942944°N 72.8287972°E / 18.942944; 72.8287972

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