Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Star Talkies: Popular Single Screen Theatre in Triplicane, Chennai Shut down Now

Star Talkies, Triplicane High Road, Triplicane - Now Closed
In a cinema crazy city like Chennai single screen theatres are diasppaearing one by one. Maintaining single screen theatres is becoming a tough job due to cinema piracy, the ‘free download’ of movies in many film-related websites, complicated movie distribution system, opearional cost and entertainment taxing system.  Many old theatres in Chennai are shutting down because of this pressues and converted into shopping malls. Few of them keep the exteriors as it is and revamp with latest digital projection system, six-track sound sytem, central airconditioning and xenon lamps.

While revamping is one way of reviving fortunes, the other was is converting into multiplexes. The multiplexes are the hottest entertainment destination for people from all walks of life. The Chennai multiplexes and cinema houses are now equipped with cinema are equipped with modern amenities like 3D technology and movies and digital projection technology, digital audio sound (sorround system) system.  screens with amazing picture quality as well as  fully air conditioned hall, comfortable seats and online booking.

The list of closed single screen theatres in Chennai is becoming very long: Gaiety, Elphinstone , Globe (a.k.a. Alankar), Wellingdon, Chitra theatres in Mount Road; Pilot theatre in Royapet,  Nataraj, Vasanthi, Lakshmi and Saraswathi theatres in Perambur, Prabhat in Broadway, and Brighton in Royapuram, Uma, Roxy,  Bhuvanwasari, Sayani and Megala theatres in Purasawalkam, Ram and Liberty theatres in Kodambakkam, Nagesh (aka. Rajakumari) in Pondybazaar.

Star Talkies on Triplicane High Road is one such single screen theatre. It was once-successful cinema hall. In those days the film meant that crowds would throng the theatre at least till its 50th day in theatres. At Star Talkies 'Yaadon Ki Baraat' (Hindi)  ran for 100 weeks and Madhumati (Hindi) for 50 weeks.

This movie hall was constructed in 1916 in Triplicane High Road on a site owned by one Venkataramanuja Naidu. The theatre was leased to a Parsi family. When talkies become popular in 1936, this movie hall was named as Star Talkies and Kalidasa, the first talkie was released. In 1950 the Star talkies management came to the site owner Venkataramanuja Naidu and thereafter the movie hall underwent revamping and increased the seating capacity up to 818 seats and started screening number of superhit Bollywood films. Even theatre supported purdah system by allocating separate seating zone for muslim women. The taxi drivers of Chennai viewed the movie 'Taxi Driver' (Hindi) here free of cost and similarly the auto-drivers viewed the Rajanikanth starer movie 'Basha (Tamil) free of cost. Star talkies ceased screening movies from February 29, 1995 (leap year!).
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