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Thursday, February 21, 2013

R.I.P Pushpanjali theater, Shivanagar / Shivanahalli

As I was riding the other day, I passed by Pushpanjali theater in the Shivanagar / Shivanahalli area of Bangalore and witnessed it being demolished, to make way for God knows what.

It choked me a little - not that I wasn't expecting this to happen someday - every other theater in Bangalore these days is going down to make way for swanky, ridiculously priced multiplexes / shopping complexes, plus the last time I had passed by this theater, it had completely stopped playing mainstream movies and was almost always playing adult flicks ( Before any of you mock me by asking, I haven't watched any of those :P )

Nevertheless, it is fair to say that what was getting demolished wasn't just a theater, but a part of me. A part that contained some of my most cherished memories - I grew up in the Basaveswaranagar area of Bangalore, so understandably, this was the theater that was closest to my place. There were no multiplexes those days - NONE. Even Bangalore's first multiplex - the Innovative multiplex at Maratahalli came only post 2002-2003 ( Correct me if I'm wrong ). VCDs had just started arriving in rental shops - there was no Youtube or Dailymotion then.

So our regular options for theaters were - Pushpanjali, Veeresh, Nataraj, Cauvery, Sujatha ( yes, I remember watching Kamal Hassan's Thenali at this now defunct theater ). Pushpanjali was home to movies of all languages - English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil - it was a DELIGHT. I have watched some of the best movies for all of 25-30 bucks at this place.

I've really lost count of how many movies I would've seen there, but there are some which I'll ALWAYS remember -

1. Tomorrow Never Dies, the *ONLY* movie I've ever watched with my late dad alone, in theater. He never ever used to watch movies in theater when he was alive.

2. The next one is Lagaan, the *ONLY* movie I've ever watched with my parents in theater ( Speed was another one at the long-defunct Galaxy theater, my uncle and aunt were also there though ). Of course, another fact is that Lagaan is my all-time favorite Hindi movie :) the place where I watched it has got to be special :) ..

I still remember the INSANE atmosphere was JUST like being in a cricket stadium - more about that in this post. So that experience is something I'll cherish for life. .

3. The last is Aalavandhaan, the last Kamal Hassan movie which I saw at Pushpanjali, with my uncle. My uncle and I have always been huge Kamal Hassan fans. This is the last movie I truly remember seeing at this theater. I might've seen more after that, but I really don't remember. This one, I clearly do!

Well, that's all I remember ..of this once-green theater, which was painted blue...perhaps to indicate the change in the kinda movies it was gonna play thereafter :P....Plus, I moved out of Basaveswaranagar in 2005. So after that, I've not been to Pushpanjali AT ALL. It's sad that I don't exactly know which movie the last one I saw at this place was. From what I vaguely remember, it must've been a Jackie Chan movie. The last one I clearly remember watching there was Aalavandhaan.

How many more theaters will good old Bangalore keep on losing ?!
Galaxy, Lido, Plaza, Swagath, Sujatha, Kino....even Veeresh couldn't resist the multiplex wave! It's not that people of today prefer multiplexes. With ridiculously priced tickets, trust me one does! I'm only thankful to God that theaters like Cauvery, Urvashi, Nataraj, Sampige, Navarang, Nandini ..and most importantly Vijay :P....still remain....

Those in the Chickpet area have nothing to crib about though - all theaters on Kempegowda road aka "theater" road :) ..are still intact ...except for States, which was renovated as Bhumika.

Anyway, RIP Pushpanjali ..and thank you for ALL those wonderful movies at cheap prices...thank you for all those fond memories, especially the ones that I've mentioned, which are to be cherished for life...Along with you dies another part of my childhood !
RIP Pushpanjali

P.S - I couldn't find out the reason for its death. If any of you in and around Basaveswaranagar know why, please let me know! Thank you!

1 comment:

Ravikumar S said...

Just pass by once again. You will get it.