Changes between Version 40 and Version 41 of Plaza (Bangalore)


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Jan 11, 2013, 9:15:03 AM (6 years ago)
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  • Plaza (Bangalore)

    v40 v41  
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    11 [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcot_Narrainsawmy_Mudaliar|Arcot Narrain Swamy Mudaliar]] was born at Arcot on 14 May 1827, After his father Muniappa Mudaliar paased away when Narrainsawmy was ten years old, the youngster had to support his widowed mother and two younger brothers. He never had an opportunity to study English, but was well versed in his mother tongue - Tamil. During his formative years he studied and acquired a deep knowledge of ancient Tamil literature, which moulded his character and inspired his thoughts and outlook throughout his life. Mudaliar married Govindammal in 1850 when he was 23 [[FootNote(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcot_Narrainsawmy_Mudaliar. See also, Aliyeh Rizvi, On Veerapillai Street,  aturquoisecloud.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/on-veerapillai-street/)]] 
     11[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcot_Narrainsawmy_Mudaliar|Arcot Narrain Swamy Mudaliar]] was born at Arcot on 14 May 1827, After his father Muniappa Mudaliar paased away when Narrainsawmy was ten years old, the youngster had to support his widowed mother and two younger brothers. He never had an opportunity to study English, but was well versed in his mother tongue - Tamil. During his formative years he studied and acquired a deep knowledge of ancient Tamil literature, which moulded his character and inspired his thoughts and outlook throughout his life. Mudaliar married Govindammal in 1850 when he was 23 [[FootNote([http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcot_Narrainsawmy_Mudaliar Arcot Narrainsawmy Mudaliar]. See also, Aliyeh Rizvi, [http://aturquoisecloud.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/on-veerapillai-street/ On Veerapillai Street])]] 
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    28 An important philanthropist Narrain Swamy set up a number of schools for the poor and on 1st January 1877 Lord Lytton, the Viceroy of India, conferred on Mudaliar the title of 'Rai Bahadur' in recognition of his spirited acts of charity [[FootNote(Marianne Furtado De Nazareth, Old is indeed gold, http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/mp/2002/04/25/stories/2002042500450200.htm The Mysore Gazette of 1897 says that the principal high schools located in Bangalore Cantonment were Bishop Cottons, St. Andrews, Baldwins and other `convent' schools for Europeans, with Narrainswamy Mudaliar's institution reserved for `natives')]]. Bipin Chandrapal served as the first headmaster of the now-renamed Arcot Sri Narrainswamy Mudaliar Free English High School during 1891-92. 
     28An important philanthropist Narrain Swamy set up a number of schools for the poor and on 1st January 1877 Lord Lytton, the Viceroy of India, conferred on Mudaliar the title of 'Rai Bahadur' in recognition of his spirited acts of charity [[FootNote(Marianne Furtado De Nazareth, [http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/mp/2002/04/25/stories/2002042500450200.htm Old is indeed gold], The Mysore Gazette of 1897 says that the principal high schools located in Bangalore Cantonment were Bishop Cottons, St. Andrews, Baldwins and other `convent' schools for Europeans, with Narrainswamy Mudaliar's institution reserved for `natives')]]. Bipin Chandrapal served as the first headmaster of the now-renamed Arcot Sri Narrainswamy Mudaliar Free English High School during 1891-92. 
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    41 After returning he bought a lorry and sets up a 16 MM cinema projection on it which he travels with to the cantonment areas to show short films to the British soldiers in the military camps in the Cantonment[[FootNote(Plaza was special to many generations. Brig LERB Ferris AVSM (retd) remembers the Dress Circle, “You had to be well dressed to sit there. Young officers like me sat with our British seniors and watched the likes of glamorous Hedy Lamarr. The lady was hot property and had a reputation for playing sultry roles". http://bangalorebuzz.blogspot.in/2005/03/curtain-call-for-plaza.html)]]. After Plaza was set up the same lorry was used to show advertise the films that were being shown in Plaza. He then mortgaged the property on MG Road to Asiatic Mortgage Company to raise money to build the theatre 
     41After returning he bought a lorry and sets up a 16 MM cinema projection on it which he travels with to the cantonment areas to show short films to the British soldiers in the military camps in the Cantonment[[FootNote(Plaza was special to many generations. Brig LERB Ferris AVSM (retd) remembers the Dress Circle, “You had to be well dressed to sit there. Young officers like me sat with our British seniors and watched the likes of glamorous Hedy Lamarr. The lady was hot property and had a reputation for playing sultry roles". [http://bangalorebuzz.blogspot.in/2005/03/curtain-call-for-plaza.html Curtain call for plaza])]]. After Plaza was set up the same lorry was used to show advertise the films that were being shown in Plaza. He then mortgaged the property on MG Road to Asiatic Mortgage Company to raise money to build the theatre 
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    44 The architect of Plaza was Richardson and Cruddas of Bombay [[FootNote(Established in 1858, R&C Ltd. has grown into an engineering establishment. Nationalized by Act of Parliament in the year 1972. Richardson & Cruddas (1972) Ltd. has grown into an Engineering Enterprises in fabrication of various process equipments meeting the needs of Power Sector, Steel Manufacturing Plants, Railways, Oil & Gas, Fertilizers, Sugar Industries, Atomic Energy, Space, Water & Sewage Treatment Plants transmission line Towers fabrication and galvanising Testing of transmission line towers etc. R&C has four manufacturing units, two located in Mumbai at Byculla and Mulund, one at Nagpur and one at Chennai. R&C's corporate office is located at Byculla, Mumbai and has liasoning offices in New Delhi and Kolkata.)]]  and the equipment for the new theatre was obtained from Century Film. There was also a ballroom and a Bar “Silver Screen Specials”  in the balcony which conducted dances for the British soldiers with a live orchestra [[FootNote(During the intermission”, remembers Pratap Chettur, “The Britishers had their personal bearers at the bar, waiting on cue, to serve scotch and soda or a gimlet.” The wooden dance floor saw a lot of action with officers boogying or doing a quickstep. No doubt inspired by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing to Porter’s Night and Day and The Continental. http://bangalorebuzz.blogspot.in/2005/03/curtain-call-for-plaza.html)]] . On the first floor of the theatre was a 50-foot-square wooden dance floor, used for the annual Christmas Ball and New Year Ball, and for balls held to herald major motion pictures releases.  
     44The architect of Plaza was Richardson and Cruddas of Bombay [[FootNote(Established in 1858, R&C Ltd. has grown into an engineering establishment. Nationalized by Act of Parliament in the year 1972. Richardson & Cruddas (1972) Ltd. has grown into an Engineering Enterprises in fabrication of various process equipments meeting the needs of Power Sector, Steel Manufacturing Plants, Railways, Oil & Gas, Fertilizers, Sugar Industries, Atomic Energy, Space, Water & Sewage Treatment Plants transmission line Towers fabrication and galvanising Testing of transmission line towers etc. R&C has four manufacturing units, two located in Mumbai at Byculla and Mulund, one at Nagpur and one at Chennai. R&C's corporate office is located at Byculla, Mumbai and has liasoning offices in New Delhi and Kolkata.)]]  and the equipment for the new theatre was obtained from Century Film. There was also a ballroom and a Bar “Silver Screen Specials”  in the balcony which conducted dances for the British soldiers with a live orchestra [[FootNote(During the intermission”, remembers Pratap Chettur, “The Britishers had their personal bearers at the bar, waiting on cue, to serve scotch and soda or a gimlet.” The wooden dance floor saw a lot of action with officers boogying or doing a quickstep. No doubt inspired by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing to Porter’s Night and Day and The Continental. [http://bangalorebuzz.blogspot.in/2005/03/curtain-call-for-plaza.html Curtain call for plaza])]] . On the first floor of the theatre was a 50-foot-square wooden dance floor, used for the annual Christmas Ball and New Year Ball, and for balls held to herald major motion pictures releases.  
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    47 Plaza was inaugurated on March 10, 1936. There were two shows, and 433 seats were filled up on the first day. Two films were screened every week, with three shows each day. The first film Broadway Melody to be show was in 1936. In 1936, tickets were priced between 9 annas and Rs 2 and 8 annas — from Gandhi Class to Dress Circle. In 1960, the rates went up to 75 paise and Rs 2.75. By 2005, the balcony tickets were selling at Rs 70[[FootNote(http://satyamshot.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/last-down-memory-trip-before-boarding-the-metro-to-future/)]]. 
     47Plaza was inaugurated on March 10, 1936. There were two shows, and 433 seats were filled up on the first day. Two films were screened every week, with three shows each day. The first film Broadway Melody to be show was in 1936. In 1936, tickets were priced between 9 annas and Rs 2 and 8 annas — from Gandhi Class to Dress Circle. In 1960, the rates went up to 75 paise and Rs 2.75. By 2005, the balcony tickets were selling at Rs 70[[FootNote([http://satyamshot.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/last-down-memory-trip-before-boarding-the-metro-to-future/ Last down-memory trip before boarding the metro to future])]]. 
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    4949[[Image(BroadwayMelodyy1929.jpg)]]      [[Image(plaza cartoon.jpg)]] 
     
    5252For the first show everything had been set up but when they started the projection of the film, they found that the film was being projected slightly above the screen because of the height of where the projector was and they had to tilt the angle of the projector and the projector was tilted ever since.  
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    54 At Plaza's opening ceremony, to seat the chief guest in style, a sofa was borrowed from the house next door, in which lived Mr. Jose Mariano Dias and his family. This house was demolished and, decades later, made way for the Blu Moon theatre complex, which was demolished to make way for a shopping complex. Mr. Dias, one of the earliest Goans to migrate to Bangalore, ran Dias Music Salon, a stone's throw from his house. He opened the shop, which sold musical instruments, in 1927, and was a violinist who played for silent movies at Globe (before the talkies arrived, every cinema had an orchestra in the pit which provided background music). After his death the shop was run by his daughter, Irene, and her husband, John Lemos, until it was sold and turned into a Zodiac tie showroom, which morphed into a snack shop [[FootNote(http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/metroplus/article389511.ece)]]. Irene who, along with her sister, used to hop across next door to see movies for free because the kindly ushers would sneak the girls in after the paying crowd had entered. 
     54At Plaza's opening ceremony, to seat the chief guest in style, a sofa was borrowed from the house next door, in which lived Mr. Jose Mariano Dias and his family. This house was demolished and, decades later, made way for the Blu Moon theatre complex, which was demolished to make way for a shopping complex. Mr. Dias, one of the earliest Goans to migrate to Bangalore, ran Dias Music Salon, a stone's throw from his house. He opened the shop, which sold musical instruments, in 1927, and was a violinist who played for silent movies at Globe (before the talkies arrived, every cinema had an orchestra in the pit which provided background music). After his death the shop was run by his daughter, Irene, and her husband, John Lemos, until it was sold and turned into a Zodiac tie showroom, which morphed into a snack shop [[FootNote([http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/metroplus/article389511.ece Picturing the past])]]. Irene who, along with her sister, used to hop across next door to see movies for free because the kindly ushers would sneak the girls in after the paying crowd had entered. 
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    8282||= '''Interview with A K Ananth Narrain, Owner, Plaza Theatre''' || 
    83 ||(''I studied at the Bishop Cottons school and the first film that I saw in Plaza was The Three Musketeers (with Lana Turner)  which I had been taken to by some of the elders. I subsequently saw the film seventeen to eighteen times.  At the age of ten I used to drive the lorry that my father had  bought to show films and it was subsequently used to advertise films that were being shown in Plaza. I passed out of college in 1958 and on the last day of college I took my entire class to watch a film in Plaza (a tradition that was continued by my children and all my nephews and nieces as well) and we saw Devil’s Island, a Bogart film. In 1964 all of us (the sons) were made a part of the partnership and I started getting actively involved with the running of the theatre. At that point (1964) I had become a teacher teaching English and mathematics at the RBANMS school. Around this time I also took more of an interest in the business and moved into a small room behind the screen and started living there. There used to be a lots of  Rats in the theatre which would come out after everyone had left after the last show and it was a bit of a hazard living in the theatre. In the sixties the audience for films had changed with a lot of younger people watching films [[FootNote(In Bangalore, there was no real other entertainment," Premchand says of the theatre in the '60s and '70s, "so there was a good movie-going crowd. The Saturday matinees would be really crowded, with the big Mount Carmel bus ferrying in the hostellers.)]]  and the movies that were popular were the more action oriented film of the time ( Atari, Guns of Naverone, Psycho and then the Bond films)[[FootNote(Whenever Kumar ran short of funds, he used to sell old news papers to finance his movie ticket.DK Ramu’s father was an Executive Engineer in the State Electricity Board ,with MG Road under his jurisdiction. DK was often the recipient of passes for movie shows distributed by the theatre owners to keep dad in good humor. The largesse extended to some of us; on condition that we met his bus fare and tiffin charges. In this mutually beneficial arrangement ,we saw ‘Kissing Cousins’ an ‘A’ film starring Elvis Presley. For this land mark occasion, four of us dressed up in trousers and shirt to enhance our looks, hoping the ticket collector would allow us into an ‘adult’ movie without any fuss. We got to see a man and a woman kiss on screen for the first time. What an exciting experience! Eating ‘Puffs’ and ‘Peanut Bars’ in Plaza Theatre was the ‘done thing’ in those days. http://samundarbaba.blogspot.in/2011/12/long-live-big-screen.html)]] . Suchitra Film Society organized a film festival in Plaza for which the Maharajah had a special seat and there was also a separate section for women in Purdah (which created a lot of problems in the walkway). One of the most popular films of Plaza was the 10 commandments which ran for 44 weeks [[FootNote(Peter Colaco, author of a book on Bangalore says he has vivid memories of "being lined up and marched off to watch Ten Commandments — with its mix of biblical allusion and little belly-dancing girls — from St. Germain's "; just as some other schools probably made their students do as well.)]]  though the record was held by Enter the Dragon in Galaxy which ran for 52 weeks [[FootNote(Loads of school children were brought to the theatre to watch this movie and a special personal screening of the movie was arranged in the year 1959 for the Maharaja of Mysore, Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar and his entourage. In 1959, the Mysore Maharaja, Nalwadi Krishnarajendra Wodeyar, came to Plaza to watch 10 Commandments. The entire balcony was reserved for the royal entourage. “He wanted to buy tickets, but we’d have none of it,’’ recalls theatre owner Niranjan, then a 16-year-old.  The Celebrity couple, Dharmendra and Hema Malini, too came here to watch movies when they were in Bangalore shooting for Sholay)]] . If a film ran for four weeks then it was considered a hit. Another film that was very popular was Grease 2. There was one particular chap who came to see it every day and when one particular song played, he would start dancing in the aisles. One day he came to me with 49 stubs of tickets and said that he had seen the film 49 times and he demanded a free ticket for  his fiftieth show. While I thought that it is because of fools like you that we make money, I gave him a free ticket to watch the film. In the emergency years we all were mandated to play the national anthem before the screening of each film and all the theatre  owners of Bangalore were called in for a meeting with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and told that theatres were in charge of inculcating respect for the nation. At that time all the theatre owners were also showing losses except for Plaza. I got married in 1972 and at that point of time there was a crisis since there was a ban on the importing of films and there were no new films that were available and we had to survive on reruns and playing old films. So when I went to invite people from the film fraternity for the wedding and announced that I had some good news, they immediately enquired whether the ban on importing of films had been lifted. The situation was so bad that Rex started showing Malayalam films. There was also a lot of censorship and Indira Gandhi who had seen a film with the Can Can announced that thee should be no vulgar display of  a woman’s body'')|| 
     83||(''I studied at the Bishop Cottons school and the first film that I saw in Plaza was The Three Musketeers (with Lana Turner)  which I had been taken to by some of the elders. I subsequently saw the film seventeen to eighteen times.  At the age of ten I used to drive the lorry that my father had  bought to show films and it was subsequently used to advertise films that were being shown in Plaza. I passed out of college in 1958 and on the last day of college I took my entire class to watch a film in Plaza (a tradition that was continued by my children and all my nephews and nieces as well) and we saw Devil’s Island, a Bogart film. In 1964 all of us (the sons) were made a part of the partnership and I started getting actively involved with the running of the theatre. At that point (1964) I had become a teacher teaching English and mathematics at the RBANMS school. Around this time I also took more of an interest in the business and moved into a small room behind the screen and started living there. There used to be a lots of  Rats in the theatre which would come out after everyone had left after the last show and it was a bit of a hazard living in the theatre. In the sixties the audience for films had changed with a lot of younger people watching films [[FootNote(In Bangalore, there was no real other entertainment," Premchand says of the theatre in the '60s and '70s, "so there was a good movie-going crowd. The Saturday matinees would be really crowded, with the big Mount Carmel bus ferrying in the hostellers.)]]  and the movies that were popular were the more action oriented film of the time ( Atari, Guns of Naverone, Psycho and then the Bond films)[[FootNote(Whenever Kumar ran short of funds, he used to sell old news papers to finance his movie ticket.DK Ramu’s father was an Executive Engineer in the State Electricity Board ,with MG Road under his jurisdiction. DK was often the recipient of passes for movie shows distributed by the theatre owners to keep dad in good humor. The largesse extended to some of us; on condition that we met his bus fare and tiffin charges. In this mutually beneficial arrangement ,we saw ‘Kissing Cousins’ an ‘A’ film starring Elvis Presley. For this land mark occasion, four of us dressed up in trousers and shirt to enhance our looks, hoping the ticket collector would allow us into an ‘adult’ movie without any fuss. We got to see a man and a woman kiss on screen for the first time. What an exciting experience! Eating ‘Puffs’ and ‘Peanut Bars’ in Plaza Theatre was the ‘done thing’ in those days. [http://samundarbaba.blogspot.in/2011/12/long-live-big-screen.html Growing up with the Movies])]] . Suchitra Film Society organized a film festival in Plaza for which the Maharajah had a special seat and there was also a separate section for women in Purdah (which created a lot of problems in the walkway). One of the most popular films of Plaza was the 10 commandments which ran for 44 weeks [[FootNote(Peter Colaco, author of a book on Bangalore says he has vivid memories of "being lined up and marched off to watch Ten Commandments — with its mix of biblical allusion and little belly-dancing girls — from St. Germain's "; just as some other schools probably made their students do as well.)]]  though the record was held by Enter the Dragon in Galaxy which ran for 52 weeks [[FootNote(Loads of school children were brought to the theatre to watch this movie and a special personal screening of the movie was arranged in the year 1959 for the Maharaja of Mysore, Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar and his entourage. In 1959, the Mysore Maharaja, Nalwadi Krishnarajendra Wodeyar, came to Plaza to watch 10 Commandments. The entire balcony was reserved for the royal entourage. “He wanted to buy tickets, but we’d have none of it,’’ recalls theatre owner Niranjan, then a 16-year-old.  The Celebrity couple, Dharmendra and Hema Malini, too came here to watch movies when they were in Bangalore shooting for Sholay)]] . If a film ran for four weeks then it was considered a hit. Another film that was very popular was Grease 2. There was one particular chap who came to see it every day and when one particular song played, he would start dancing in the aisles. One day he came to me with 49 stubs of tickets and said that he had seen the film 49 times and he demanded a free ticket for  his fiftieth show. While I thought that it is because of fools like you that we make money, I gave him a free ticket to watch the film. In the emergency years we all were mandated to play the national anthem before the screening of each film and all the theatre  owners of Bangalore were called in for a meeting with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and told that theatres were in charge of inculcating respect for the nation. At that time all the theatre owners were also showing losses except for Plaza. I got married in 1972 and at that point of time there was a crisis since there was a ban on the importing of films and there were no new films that were available and we had to survive on reruns and playing old films. So when I went to invite people from the film fraternity for the wedding and announced that I had some good news, they immediately enquired whether the ban on importing of films had been lifted. The situation was so bad that Rex started showing Malayalam films. There was also a lot of censorship and Indira Gandhi who had seen a film with the Can Can announced that thee should be no vulgar display of  a woman’s body'')|| 
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