November 30, 2023

well-known photographer Bijoy Chowdhury‘s annual calendar pays homage to the waning period of single-screen film theaters. The award-winning lens specialist and documentary filmmaker’s calendar is a group of black and white pictures that seize quick tales of Kolkata’s dying iconic showhouses.

For a very long time, these single-screen film theaters have been the tackle of our metropolis’s dreamers. A houseful of entrance panels proclaimed a film’s recognition and satisfied film buffs to flock to the magical world of cinema.

Sadly, most of Kolkata’s single screens have now taken down their shutters. Some have paved the best way for flashy purchasing malls and condominium buildings. Others stand as relics and await destruction quickly. Few nonetheless respect the adage that the present ought to go on.

Photographer Bijoy Chowdhury’s annual calendar pays homage to the period of movie viewing in one-room theaters.

Its assortment of black and white pictures with the fast-disappearing showroom theme and the joy of watching films in single theaters earlier than the multiplex period is all about nostalgia.

Famend filmmaker Kaushik Ganguly’s award-winning Bengali movie Cinemawala (2016) is a tribute to one-screen cinemas on their option to oblivion.

In an interview with a information company, the director stated, “Cinemawala is a homage to the bygone period of celluloid movies. I bid farewell to the world of reminiscences I grew up with; Movies made on celluloid which have impressed me and audiences for generations, and single-screen film theaters the place my goals take wings.”

In keeping with a current report by a monetary newspaper, the variety of single-screen cinemas in India has dropped from 8,500 in 2018-19 to six,200 in 2022. It ought to come as no shock that this quantity will lower additional within the coming years.

Because the founding of the primary one-room theater in Calcutta in 1907, theaters have change into a spot the place the creativeness flies within the firm of heroes in a fantasy world, the place on a regular basis issues are put aside in the intervening time. In post-independence India of the Sixties-80s, it was the one outlet for mass leisure for the individuals of the world’s largest film-producing nation, setting apart video games or cultural applications.

Multi-channel tv had not but appeared. Enter the multi-screen multiplexes quickly after and the single-screen dying knells sounded.

Chowdhury says: “Once we have a look at the gradual disappearance of single-screen theaters, that is really the tip of an period. The hero’s entry into the large display screen. The film theaters within the full of life streets of cities and cities had been/had been a mirrored image of the architectural surroundings of the interval.”

“To pay humble homage to the period of single screens, I used frozen sq. footage of a few of our iconic present homes as I wandered the town’s film theaters. I hope this calendar will rekindle and archive good reminiscences from our single screens,” provides Chowdhury.

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