Regal theatre, popularly known as New Delhi’s premier theatre began business in 1932 and has since screened thousands of movies. Not just our parents, but our grandparents would have caught a matinee at this theatre that is one of the oldest buildings in Connaught Place. It has now been revealed that the theatre is going out of business and will screen one final movie for fans.
Anushka Sharma’s Phillauri will be the last movie to ever be screened in this iconic theatre according to reports in Times Of India. Apparently, it was decided by the management to shut down the theatre with effect from March 31, 2017.
This comes as no surprise, however, as prior to this, the building owners had received multiple notices from the municipal council. After two building from around the same time in CP collapsed recently, the theatre management made this decision. They have, in fact, asked their employees to clear out all dues. “The structural engineer has stated that as our building is very old, its inspection will require a long period and we shall not be in a position to carry out business activity as it is likely to endanger the life and property of employees and visitors,” reads a statement signed by the owner of Regal, VK Mahajan.
One of the oldest employees of the theatre, Aman Singh Verma told TOI, “We used to be Raj Kapoor’s favourite cinema hall. Now, the shows might be running empty but there was a time when people would start lining up a day before the premiere. The hall would be decorated with flowers like a marriage venue, patrons would get specially printed pamphlets and big film stars like Raj Kapoor and Nargis would come for the red carpets.”
The theatre had once hosted the creme-de-la-creme of Bollywood and people like Lord Mountbatten, Indira Gandhi and her father Jawaharlal Nehru. However, today the theatre is in abysmal collections and is not able to support employees either. Aman also added, “With collections so low, it is impossible to run a theatre and pay its employees. There were times when we celebrated back-to-back golden jubilees. Now, I don’t even remember when we had the last house-full.”
Regal will surely be a part of cinematic history as one of the gorgeous cinema halls from the past.