One of Delhi’s most iconic movie theaters, Regal Cinema will run its last ever show on Thursday before bidding adieu to its fans. A four-hour long movie, namely, ‘Mera Naam Joker’ will be screened as the final film on Thursday at 6 pm. “This was Raj Kapoor’s favorite hall and every time his movies released, he made sure the Delhi premiere was at Regal. We wanted to call it a day with his films,” owner Vishal Chowdhary told Indian Express.
In its early days, Regal cinema was called New Delhi Premier Theater. Regal Cinema was opened in 1932 by Sir Sobha Singh. Last week, the owner of the theater had announced its shutdown. One of the oldest structures in New Delhi, the building is all set to undergo a renovation and will be transformed into a multiplex. “The building is very old and we need to renovate. We are planning to build a multiplex which should be ready in a year-and-a-half or more. We want to provide good facilities to our patrons,” Chowdhary told the India Express. With multiplexes taking over in every street and corner, this single screened cinema hall had become obscure and it was not long before Regal cinema lost its glory. “The increase in entertainment tax too hurt single-screens,” manager Roop Ghai said.
Apart from Mera Naam Joker, another Raj Kapoor’s classic,”Sangam” will be screened on Thursday at 10 pm. “While we knew we wanted to end it with a Raj Kapoor film, it was tough to find a good digital print. These are the two we managed. I have heard that whenever a Raj Kapoor film would have its premier here, a puja would take place at the hall in the morning. He would visit often too. Those were the days of glorious premieres and superstars. Now, it’s all gone,” said Ghai.