A month after the iconic movie theatre Regal Cinema shut was down, another single screen theatre in Delhi downed its shutters on Friday. Shiela cinema, a legendary theatre in central Delhi’s Paharganj, was running at a financial loss and it was getting difficult for its owners to maintain it according to the news agency PTI. The Shiela Cinema owner Uday Kaushik said plans for shutting the cinema were on for a while and now when it is closed, the plan is to turn it into a multiplex, reported news the agency. The “once wonderful, later neglected” Shiela cinema was established in January 1961 and had run for Fifty-six years before bidding adieu to its fans. At one time, there would be serpentine queues of people the night before a new show was to open but in past few years, the average occupancy in the 956-seater theatre had pegged to less than 100 people, theatre’s senior manager SK Tiwari had told The Indian Express in 2010. Here is a look at its glorious journey:
– Shiela Cinema Theatre is known as the first 70mm Theatre in India that featured a fully air conditioned facility showcasing an ultra modern decor and the facility of a spacious parking lot.
WATCH | Shiela Cinema Hall
– Opened to public, 56 years ago, it had a separate foyer on the first floor while the main the auditorium was fitted with luxurious and comfortable push back seats that have been strategically arranged in order to provide a non-obstructing view to all the audiences.
– The single-screen theatre was earlier fitted with a six-track sound system, which was later upgraded to a Dolby Digital sound system. A third dimension was introduced by slightly curving the screen in order to an illusion of depth and hence viewers can savour an awe-inspiring movie viewing experience.
– On January 12, 1961, when the first show of the English classic Solomon and Sheba was screened, the audience turnout was unbelievable, Tiwari told The Indian Express.
– The last film it screened was the Hollywood hit ‘The Fate of the Furious’, which ran well, Kaushik told PTI.
WATCH | Delhi’s Regal cinema witnesses a full house during its last show
Now, when Shiela theatre is closed down, its owners are looking forward to turning into a multiplex. According to Kaushik, it is definitely an option but they will take some time for that. The theatre has a large plot and they are planning to have at least 10 screens in it, he said. As many as 50 theatres in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh have been reportedly downed their shutters in the last decade.