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Chandan theatre will survive in a new avatar; Eros continues to face uncertain future

Film exhibitor Manoj Desai reveals that Chandan will be converted into a theatre-cum-mall, but there are no takers for South Mumbai's iconic theatre.

Chandan cinema (left), Eros cinema (right)

Mayur Lookhar

Rising costs and limited box office success have together spelt doomsday for many a single-screen cinema hall in India.

South Mumbai's iconic Eros theatre has remained shut for the past few years, but there were growing concerns about the future of Chandan talkies, in Juhu, as well.

While there is no change in the status of Eros, Chandan, it now appears, will survive.

Manoj Desai, executive director of G7 Cinemas and Maratha Mandir, said, "From what I have heard, Chandan was on the verge of being shut down, but they have found a buyer. It will be revived as a theatre-cum-mall. As per the rules, when a builder buys such a property, he has to leave 33% of the land for the cinema business. I don't know who has bought it, but Chandan will survive.”

A few weeks ago, Cinestaan had contacted Chandan's manager Bhavesh Raja who had acknowledged that the cinema is not being closed. “I don’t have much information, but from what I have heard, we are not shutting down. The cinema will be revamped. Please do not believe any rumours,” Raja had said.

Chandan is owned by Sameer Joshi, who is said to be out of the country. The family is believed to have moved to the United States.

Meanwhile, there has been no communication about Eros. The buzz is that the owners have been trying to sell it, but to no avail.

The theatre was shut in 2017 following a dispute between the landlord SC Cambata and employees of the now defunct company Cambata Aviation, a ground-handling agency.

According to Desai, "The owners have been trying to sell the theatre, but so far no one has come forward. It is a very expensive area. Besides, there is a dispute between the Eros management and the staff, too."

Efforts to contact the cInema hall's management were futile.

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Iconic theatres