Iconic Mitra Cinema downs shutters after 88-year run
Kolkata: Concluding a long run of 88 years, Mitra Cinema of Hati Bagan in North Kolkata downed its shutters after the owners failed to bear the huge loss incurred while running it.
With the closure of the single-screen hall, several memories associated with Barua-Kanan Devi, Chabi Biswas-Sandhyarani or Uttam Suchitra come to an end. The last show at the hall was screened on April 1.
Dipendra Mitra, the proprietor of the hall, said he was unable to run the place because of his ill health. The century-old building is in need of immediate repair and firefighting and other modern equipments need to be installed as well. A rumour is making rounds that a high-rise building will come up at the prime location. However, Mitra refused to divulge anything regarding the same.
Mitra Cinema was opened in 1963 and has been screening Bengali and Hindi movies since then.
Rajatava Mitra remembers when as a college student he saw Deya Neya, a legendary Uttam Kumar starrer which also featured Tanuja, Chaya Devi, Kamal Mitra, Pahari Sanyal and Tarun Kumar, at Mitra Cinema in 1963. "We had to stand in a long queue to get a ticket for the opening show. It was a marvelous experience," he said.
In the past few years, several cinema halls that used to screen Bengali movies have downed their shutters. Purna, Bharati and Ujjala, three famous cinema halls in South Kolkata, have closed down. Alochaya, a cinema hall in Beliaghata has been pulled down to make room for a high-rise complex. In Central Kolkata, Elite, Roxy and Chaplin have been closed, while Metro Cinema has been converted into a shopping mall.