Movies have always been an integral part of the cultural fabric of Mumbai City. In fact, the presence of “Bollywood” (Hindi movie industry) in maximum city is clear evidence of its importance in the culture. Now, approximately 1000 movies are produced by the film industry located in the city annually. Therefore, it is not surprising that Mumbai comprises of a number of movie theaters. And so, here is presenting a list of a few movie theaters in the “City that never sleeps” that have gained a good reputation over the years in terms of their “popularity”.
a. Sterling Theater:
“Sterling cinema” is what this movie theater located in South Mumbai was earlier known as. Rechristened as “Sterling Cineplex” in 2007, this theater was officially opened to the public in 1969 by showcasing the Hollywood musical “Doctor Dolittle”. Apparently, it was also the first movie theater in India to introduce “Dolby sound” and “Xenon projectors” as well as “caramel popcorn” in terms of snacks served. Furthermore, it was also renowned for “exhibiting only English movies” at one point in time. However, it was due to taxes levied on single theaters that Sterling was converted into a “multiple screen cinema hall” in 2007.
b. Regal Theater:
Designed using “Art Deco architecture” is the movie theater located in South Mumbai known as Regal. Situated alongside the famous “Colaba Causeway”, this theater according to the “Limca Book of Records” is the first to have possessed an air conditioning system. Furthermore, it was constructed in 1933 by Parsi named Framji Sidhwa. The first movie exhibited over here was the “Laurel and Hardy” film titled “The Devil’s Brother”. It is also said to have hosted the “Filmfare Award” night. Once renowned to exhibit “Hollywood” movies, these days it mainly showcases films produced by “Bollywood”. In addition, since 2015 this theater has also served as host to the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) Festival.
c. Metro Theater:
Operated originally by the famous international studio “Metro Goldwwyn Mayer” (MGM) is the movie theater known as Metro located in South Mumbai. Situated in the Dhobitalao area, this cinema hall was constructed by an architect from New York City named Thomas W Lamb while his associate was DW Ditchburn. This theater was officially opened to the public on 5th June 1938 and initially only featured movies produced by MGM. It was in 1970, that Metro was brought by the Gupta family, and gradually became known for being host to grand “Bollywood” movie premieres which included the Raj Kapoor directed “Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram”. It was eventually in 2005 that this theater was brought by Adlabs Cinema and converted into a multiplex due to changing times, and has been renamed as “Metro INOX Cinemas”.
d. New Excelsior Theater:
“Mukta A2 Cinemas” is how the movie theater New Excelsior located in South Mumbai has been rechristened. Situated in close proximity to the “Sterling Cineplex”, this theater was considered to be one of the “oldest single screen cinema halls” in Mumbai. However, due to the evolution of “multiplex cinemas” in the city this theater was brought by the prestigious Mukta Arts Limited, a Bollywood production house owned by renowned director and producer Subhash Ghai. Furthermore, this theater was reopened with great fanfare in the presence of Ghai as well as stars such as Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff in February 2017.
e. Liberty Theater:
Constructed in 1947 post independence using the “Art Deco” architectural style is the movie theater located in South Mumbai called Liberty. Comprising of 1200 seats, this cinema hall is renowned for exhibiting mainly Bollywood movies. Furthermore, this theater was established by Habib Hoosein. Apparently, Liberty is also known for having showcased many movies for long period of time. For example, the movie Mother India ran at this theater for a whole year, while the Salman Khan-Madhuri Dixit blockbuster “Hum Aapke Hain Kaun” was shown over here for 105 weeks.
f. The G-7 Multiplex:
Situated in the suburb of Bandra, is a complex comprising of six movie theaters known as the G-7 Multiplex. Situated in close proximity to the Bandra local railway station, this movie complex consists of Gaeity, Galaxy, Gemini, Gem, Gossip, and Glamour theaters. Affordably priced, this complex is said to have been the first “multiplex” in Mumbai city. Furthermore, the G-7 complex is also renowned for serving up some delicious “samosas”.