End of road for Rex

On the verge of shutting down, Rex Theatre is now screening only Zero and KGF. Regular viewers recount their memories to Metrolife

Since the news broke out, people are swarming the theatre even on weekdays.

As the countdown begins for the new year, Rex theatre on Brigade Road will bid goodbye and make way for a multiplex along with an array of “run-of-the-mill things people like,’’ as Anil Kapur, joint managing director puts it.

It took twelve years, three plans and two architects for Anil to arrive at the decision of closing Rex. The reason, he says, is that the structure is weak and the property is under-utilised. So, it makes better business sense to demolish and build something new altogether.

“The attachment to this never went away easily. Today when the time has really come, and we’re going to close the gates for the public, I don’t have any attachment to it. The name Rex will always be there,’’ he says.

There will be two new buildings with a common roof, housing a four-screen multiplex, a food court and some cafes. “The idea is to have a mini mall on the high street,’’ he shares.

When questioned about the jobs of the people associated with the cinema hall, says, “We discussed with our staff as to what they would like to do. Some of the cinema owners like Symphony, which is re-opening, are seeking our staff.’’

With the news of Rex closing down, people have thronged the theatre; the weekday occupancy is high.

Anil says that some of the patrons have affirmed that they would visit on the last day. There is no special final screening as such.

Mohammed Idrees, who calls himself a neighbour, gets nostalgic, “I’ve been around here nearly for 20-25 years. It’s a nice place, calm and away from the buzz. There is a sense of heritage, and it is sad that it’s coming down. I will miss the sugarcane juice and the corn puff from the little shops here.’’

Dinesh K N, a movie buff, used to frequent the theatre in his college days. “I used to watch the English films here. I have come here once or twice with my wife. I’m here with my family. I guess it’s time for it to close as the building is old.’’

Dinesh was a little surprised with the news that Rex is closing. Likewise, for Gangadhar, usher, the news came as a surprise, although he had heard about the same for many years.

Some Bengalureans have fond memories of the theatre.

“It’s been almost 35 years ago since I started coming to Rex. I have many good memories of this place. The theatre and the old Nilgiris will surely be missed,” says Anwar Pasha, Facility engineer.

For some, the demolition is bad news because the cinema is part of the heritage of the city. President of Church Street Occupants Association Deepak Batavia opines that old spaces must be preserved as they are the real beauty of the city.

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End of road for Rex

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