'States' will be Bhumika now

'States' will be Bhumika now

Tallam Nanjunda Shetty

I also remember the broad steps leading into the dark interiors of the cinema hall. The film was Digvijaya. We stopped visiting the place as it went down in upkeep and taste.
It became a haven for films that provided guilty pleasure to the floating population in Majestic-Gandhinagar area. There was talk that the cinema hall awaited the pleasure of the current owners, to decide on its fate — whether to

continue as one of the oldest theatres or transform into another popularly anonymous shopping mall. Things would have remained but for the news that States Cinema House would no longer bear that name.

Tallam Nanjunda Shetty, the owner, says, “The move was long in coming. Over the years, I have thought about this. Friends and well-wishers advised me to demolish the building and build a shopping mall, food court and a couple of small screens on the plot. But I didn’t listen to them.”

Erstwhile: An exterior view of the theatre.“States Cinema House was built in 1942. The only other theatre was Prabhat. These two screened films from all the languages. States was then ‘acquired’ by the military during the War and converted it into a food godown,” he adds.

“I purchased it from one Rangaiah and then went to court to get back possession. I won. Meanwhile, several theatres came up in Gandhinagar. People lost interest in this theatre. Even producers of Hindi films hesitated at the low volume of footfall here,” Tallam says.

He hung on. “I decided that our producers should benefit from my actions. Instead of building some shopping complex, I thought, both the producers and the cinema-goers should enjoy the experience of watching Kannada films on a single screen.”

Tallam then set about renovating the old cinema hall, which now seats 960 people in ‘five-star’ comfort. The seats, the upholstery are changed and spruced up. The fountain surrounded by marble is a pleasant sight. There is a brand new screen as well.
“People need not worry about toilet facilities. No expense has been spared, but I won’t say how much,” Tallam chuckles.

The Rajkumar classic Bangarada Manushya ran for two years and more to a packed hall here. Kannada gems Sati Shakti and Hannele Chiguridaaga also had a decent run here.
Tallam is now throwing open the doors of ‘States’, nay, Bhumika (new name of the theatre) to Rockline Venkatesh’s Yodha, starring Darshan the coming Friday.

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