After a run of 85 years, Delhi’s iconic single-screen theater, Regal Cinema, will be shutting down on March 30. Stationed in the heart of the capital city, the movie theater will screen its last-ever show on Thursday and will bid farewell to its fans with a classic ode to Raj Kapoor by running Mera Naam Joker and Sangam.
Speaking to a popular daily, owner Vishal Chowdhary informed about the show timings and also disclosed that the cinema hall was Raj Kapoor’s favourite.
He said, “This was Raj Kapoor’s favorite hall and every time his movies released, he made sure the Delhi premiere was at Regal. We wanted to call it a day with his films.”
All set to get a revamp, the oldest single-screen cinema hall of the city will be transformed into a four-auditorium multiplex to match up with the current structures.
Informing about the renovation, Chowdhary revealed, “The building is very old and we need to renovate. We are planning to build a multiplex which should be ready in a year-and-a-half or more. We want to provide good facilities to our patrons.”
After a week-long screening of Anushka Sharma’s Phillauri, Regal will host the screening of Mera Naam Joker at 6pm (evening show) and Sangam at 10 pm (night show), following which the theater will be closed for renovation.
Talking about Raj Kapoor’s connect with Regal, manager Roop Ghai also informed about the ritual that would take place whenever his movie would premier in the hall. Ghai revealed that a puja used to be organised in the morning before the screening. He said, “While we knew we wanted to end it with a Raj Kapoor film, it was tough to find a good digital print. These are the two we managed. I have heard that whenever a Raj Kapoor film would have its premier here, a puja would take place at the hall in the morning. He would visit often too. Those were the days of glorious premieres and superstars. Now, it’s all gone.”
Indeed a befitting finale to the “days of glorious premieres!”