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Uttam’s Sarees in Delhi to shut down; other iconic places that have closed down forever

We list here some of the other shops, cafes and book stores in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata that may have shut down but remain etched in our memories

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
February 4, 2021 6:20:23 pm
uttam saree delhiUttam's Saree in Connaught Place in Delhi was established in 1939. (Source:

Uttam’s Sarees in Connaught Place, Delhi, is about to shut down. The popular saree centre in the heart of the capital city will shut shop owing to “personal reasons” latest by March 31, a staff member told Uttam’s was established in 1939 as a family business.

Being outdated to suffering financial loss have been among the reasons for a number of iconic sites to have been forced to close their doors, after operating successfully for years. We list some of the other shops, cafes, and book stores in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata that may have shut down but remain etched in our memories.

Full Circle and Cafe Turtle

In 2020, Cafe Turtle in Khan Market, Delhi and Full Circle, the book store that housed the cafe, was shut down. The cafe, which opened in December 2000, is known to have been the pit stop for writers, journalists, artists, book lovers, and travellers. Full Circle was started by publishers Poonam and Shekhar Malhotra, owners of Hind Pocket Books.


Ghantewala, a 225-year-old sweet shop in Chandni Chowk, Delhi, shut down in 2015 after the owner said it was no longer profitable to run it. The shop was set up in 1790 by Lala Sukh Lal Jain, when Shah Alam II was the Mughal emperor of Delhi. Some of the iconic sweets available here were Karachi Halwa, Kaju Katli, Doda Barfi, Pista Barfi, and a special type of laddu called Andaaz-E-Halwai.

Regal Cinema

Delhi’s iconic single screen Regal cinema in Connaught Place was shut down in 2017, to reportedly turn it into a multiplex. The theatre was built in 1932 and served as a venue for ballets, plays, and talkies. It was once the site for the premiere of Bollywood and Hollywood films. The movie Gone with the Wind, for instance, had its premiere at the Regal in 1940. On its last day, Raj Kapoor-directed films Mera Naam Joker and Sangam were screened.

Chitra Cinema

Mumbai’s iconic Chitra cinema shut down in 2019 after running successfully for almost seven decades, ANI had reported. The single-screen auditiorium was closed due to “poor business”. The last movie to have been screened there was Student of the Year 2 at 9:30 pm. The cinema hall was reportedly on the first air-conditioned theatres in Mumbai.

Cafe Samovar

Mumbai’s iconic Cafe Samovar, which was once the favourite destination of intellectuals and celebs like Amitabh Bachchan, MF Hussain and VS Naipaul, among others, shut down in 2015, after running for over five decades. Surrounded by heritage buildings on all sides, the cafe was opened by Usha Khanna, niece of Bollywood star Balraj Sahni, according to Here, people relished a variety of delicacies from mutton chops, vegetarian and keema parathas, lassi and dahi vada to varieties of tea and coffee, reportedly with guaranteed free replacement if anything was cold or got spilled.

Rhythm House

This iconic music store in Mumbai shut shop in 2016, yielding to challenges of piracy and new technology, after running for almost seven decades. Established in 1948, the store near Kala Ghoda and Jehangir Art Gallery was known for its rich and diverse collection of music and movies. It was also frequented by celebrities like Mumtaz, Shammi Kapoor, AR Rahman, Zakir Hussain and others, according to a PTI article.

Bourne & Shepherd


World’s oldest operational photography studio, located in Kolakta, shut down in 2016, after about 176 years, as reported by The iconic studio was set up in 1840 by British photographers Samuel Bourne and Charles Shepherd, and was deemed one of the most successful commercial photography studios. It had agencies across India, besides London and Paris too. The studio is credited with clicking the only known photograph of Swami Ramakrishna Paramhansa.

Elite Cinema

Yet another iconic single-screen theatre, in Kolkata, closed its doors forever in 2018, after incurring huge losses, according to a article. The cinema hall was opened in 1940 and is known to have been thronged by the Calcutta ‘elite’ at the time.  Over the years, it has played host to several movie celebrities. Elite was once owned by Bourne & Shepherd.

Which of these places have you been to?

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First published on: 04-02-2021 at 06:20:23 pm

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