Understandably, an unsatisfactory movie makes us feel our money and time got unnecessarily wasted. However, an unsatisfactory movie at Liberty Cinema doesn’t make me feel so. The beauty of the place makes even a bad movie a paisa vasool experience! The simple yet beautifully interiors, comfortable seating, artistic ceiling designs, royal staircase (especially the ones which lead on to the balcony) and a perfect sound system have been more than a treat for cinema lovers since over six decades (see pictures).
But what makes it further special is that the cost has always been pocket-friendly. This allows the middle-class and the lower middle-class to relish the memorable experience unlike those multiplexes charging Rs 300 or more for a single ticket and Rs 60 plus for a tea that doesn’t taste like one! This fact generates tremendous respect for the single screen theatre from my side.
Recently, however, my respect for Liberty grew ten folds further when I read in a newspaper that the owner Mr Nazir Hossein is in no mood to convert the historical theatre into a swanky multiplex, despite the collections not being as high during its heydays.
(Article continued after picture.)
Since last decade or so, destruction of old buildings and monuments in the name of so-called development is on the rise in Mumbai. Naturally, some of the famous theatres of Mumbai have been demolished too to make way for multiplexes. In other words, owners of Mumbai’s famous architectural heritages themselves didn’t blink an eye before demolishing it.
Metro Cinema, a stone-throw away from Liberty, is a classic example of this fact. A theatre which was once thronged by people from all classes of society now caters only to the elite classes. There is no sign of the common middle class public courtesy some abnormal ticket rates.
It would have been very easy to give in to the temptation when almost the whole of Mumbai is marching towards redevelopment. It takes a big heart and a strong will like Hossein to keep the flame alive. In order to survive the reducing numbers, the owner is now thinking of also bringing art shows, music concerts, etc to the theatre. This is an example of how a strong business sense can be applied to keep traditions alive. Of course, this doesn’t guarantee for the cash registers to keep ringing but for few people like Hossein, pride comes first.
Since the theater was built during the time of India’s independence in 1947, it was named Liberty, which means freedom. The name is apt as the place is free… free from the clutches of business-like attitude! All thanks to Hossein sir for retaining the feeling of the old, simple and uncomplicated Bombay!
To be a part of this proud historical figure of Mumbai and to keep yourself informed about various events at this place, join the Facebook page of Liberty Cinema by clicking here - https://www.facebook.com/libertycinema2012
Have a look at some more of the majestic pictures of Liberty Cinema: -