Come May 3, an era in movie watching in the old city in Hyderabad will come to an end! The single-screen theatre at Jahanuma area, which ran successfully for nearly 37 years, will be shut permanently.

“We have decided to build a modern function hall. Our family also wants to wind up the business,” says Jaffer Hussain Meraj, owner of the theatre and AIMIM legislator from Nampally.

The theatre started in 1982 in the then densely populated area of Jahanuma in the old city and was considered to be one of the best theatres in the region. It is always in the news during Ramzan when its management stops screening movies for a month as a mark of respect.

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The single-screen theatre would be remembered as a recreational place for residents of the old city. It drew huge crowds during the summer vacation and Eid. In fact, moviegoers from the other parts of the city also visited to enjoy the ‘mazaa’ of watching cinema in an old city theatre.

People from the extended old city, including Shaheennagar, Mailardevpally, Hassannagar, Chandrayangutta and Bandlaguda, too dropped in to watch movies.

The first movie screened here was ‘Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai’ in the early 1980s, produced and directed by Nasir Hussain starring Rishi Kapoor, Padmini Kolhapure and Amjad Khan. Later Nikaah, Dilwale and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge movies were screened for 100 days at the theatre.

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In the last few years, three more theatres in the old city — Asha Talkies at Shahalibanda, Suraj Talkies at Dabeerpura and Krishan Talkies at Gulzar Houz — were also shut down. While two complexes are coming up at Suraj Talkies and Krishna Talkies compound, there are reports of a mega supermarket coming up at the Asha Talkies land parcel.

The Sudha Talkies in the Lal Darwaza had given way to a Sudha Cinepolis while Yakut Mahal — one of the oldest theatre located in Yakutpura — continues to screen shows regularly. #KhabarLive