When an Old Cinema Shuts Down, a Million Memories Die With It

One of Mumbai’s grandest Art Deco theatres, Eros, is being turned into a multiplex and large retail outlets and its fans are distraught.

I saw my first ‘A’ certification movie at Eros in Bombay. I was not an A, but a lucky confluence of a kindly uncle, a sudden spurt in inches which shot up my height and a distracted doorkeeper allowed me to get in.

The film was Blow Hot, Blow Cold, a ‘boldish’ movie that had scenes of nudity and murder and starred the famous Swedish star Bibi Anderssen, though the Censors had probably lopped off most of the ‘hot’ scenes. Still, word of mouth ensured that it was a big draw and the posters must have helped too.
After that, I saw many other films in the landmark cinema – Woodstock, where an Indian rock band played too in the foyer, Abba, the band in which the four Swedish singers wore white spandex and swayed to their hit songs – this time the audience joined in – and Towering Inferno, the first of the disaster films where the big screen made us feel we were in the skyscraper while the fire raged.

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Image Credit: Eros Theatre – Rendezvous of the East; Art Deco Mumbai Trust Archives

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