Citizens join hands to revive Puttanna theatre

People power

Led by noted writer and film-maker Baraguru Ramachandrappa, residents of Jayanagar took to the streets literally, to stamp their protest and win back the theatre named after the legendary Kannada film auteur Puttanna Kanagal to perpetuate his memory, through a signature campaign.

Curtains come down

Shut since 2004 with a pledge by the then Bangalore Mahanagara Palike that a refurbished theatre with state-of-the-art facilities in place would be re-opened, the theatre today lies decrepit thanks to the abject apathy of the powers that be and a mute testimony to not to take the promises of the government on their face value. With single screen theatres falling by the wayside in the age of multiplexes, it was only in the fitness of things that the citizenry took it upon themselves to ensure Puttanna theatre’s revival, the only surviving vestige in the vicinity among the likes like Shanti, Nanda, Swagath lost to the multiplex and mall mafia.

Further with Kannada films literally fighting for screen space with stiff competition from English and other regional language films, losing Puttanna theatre would mean losing the last citadel for exclusive screening of Kannada films, more so, aesthetic and art house cinema. With the citizens and other concerned cultural icons of the City such as actress Tara, film-makers Manohar, P H Viswanath among others stating that let the theatre open and means to support and sustain it would follow suit, the ball has now been thrown into the government’s court. Will this wake-up call result in the Puttanna theatre coming alive again resounding with the sterling works of the Kannada cinema time will only tell.

But for now though the spark has been lit and with Gandhinagar fraternity garnering forces to fight for a theatre writ in history, Puttanna theatre may see a silver lining sooner than later. The signature campaign will continue till an affirmative action in its re-opening comes through say the agitators.

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