Nagpur: Sudama Talkies to make way for multi-storey commercial complex
NAGPUR: Sudama Talkies, a landmark on West High Court (WHC) Road for over half a century, would soon be paving way for a new multi-storeyed commercial complex. The theatre had opened in 1971 with the screening of Rajesh Khanna starrer Anand, which ran for 100 days. Old timers still refer it as Saroj Talkies and it’s Sudama for the younger generation.
“The old name Sudama would be retained,” said Praneet Singh, the third generation owner of the theatre. The new property would be constructed by R Sandesh Group and Murarka Group, which have now entered the scene. R Sandesh is a company headed by Ramdeo Agrawal and Dilip Agrawal. The Murarka Group has Shanker Murarka, Kishore Murarka and Brajesh Murarka at the helm.
Both the companies have a major presence in the city’s real estate business and are also coming up with super premium residential projects, said a promoter.
Kishore Murarka said documentation and other formalities have been completed and possession would be taken over by December. It is planned to begin work on the foundation by January, he added.
Plan is to come up with the most prestigious project of the city. Major brands would be housed in the new complex along with a two-screen miniplex, he said. A double basement parking slot would be built to deal with lack of space on WHC Road, said Murarka.
The theatre was built by Singh’s grandfather RD Byohaar. A child then, Singh still remembers the screening of Anand, which got the theatre an award. “In those days, theatres used to receive awards from producers when a film ran for 100 days in a row,” he says.
“Movies starting with letter ‘A’ where very lucky for us. Like Anand, a number of movies like Amanush, Abhimaan and so on ran for long durations. There was a time when movies ran for 100 days and now a movie barely lasts for a week,” he said. On the name of the new complex, he said, “It was Sudama when the theatre was built and then leased out to third party for operations. They had renamed it as Saroj. When we took over it in 1991, it was again named Sudama.”
Singh remembers the best time for theatres was from 1970s to mid-nineties as slowly things started changing thereafter. There is separate class of viewers for single screen and multiplexes. However, post Covid there has been a major shift in the priorities. Earlier, even an average movie used to run for a week. Nowadays, some movies don’t even run that much, he said.