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Majestic Talkies Ajmer: Closing the first and the oldest Cinema of Rajasthan

Closing the first and the oldest Cinema of Rajasthan

Maj. (Rtd.) Noshir K. Marfatia writes:

With tears in my eyes and a very heavy heart I have to inform all that we are closing the first and the oldest Cinema of Rajasthan after completion of 86 years of entertainment to the public of Ajmer.

In 1929 when we first started the cinema in a tin shed the lower classes all sat on the ground only, 1st class had MUDAs [Chairs].

At that time we ran dumb pictures without sound.  A harmonium and tabla and sarangi which were in a pit opposite the screen to give back ground music to the audience was played in every show.

I do not know what my father and other ancestors of our family will feel in heaven because it is them who started the cinema in those days when there was no source of entertainment.  They had spent their last penny in procuring land and building.  I was informed that once the Talkie machine and amplifiers were installed and started working showing the movie “Alamara” my father had no money to give the engineer, so he gave him the wedding band from his hand and was badly reprimanded  by my mother for the same when he returned home and the fight went on and on.

For the Second renovation was done on third September, 1952 the cinema was reopened after a week closure on account of installation of imported new RCA Projector.  The Cinema was renamed as NEW MAJESTIC TALKIES and the 1st release was “DAAG”[Dilip Kumar]. 

For the Third renovation in 1970 Cinema remained closed for three months for the vast renovation – viz Big Wide Screen, Centrally Air Cooled, Sound System, and False ceiling of Sitatax for sound echo and was reopened on 8th December, 1970 with Ramanand Sagar’s“GEET”.

For the Fourth time, unfortunately, on 7th May, 2000 our cinema was burnt and we have to close down our cinema for four months and 5 days, the cinema was remade and was reopened on 12th September, 2000.

After the Talkie Movie era started in 1932 we ran English movies also in the morning and 6 PM show [which had an interval of 45 minutes to an hour] because hard drinks, were served and sandwiches, chips and other snacks were sold and on orders of the audience the movie started again.  All the top movies of yester years English or Hindi ran at our cinema.  Then after 1947 we ran Hindi Movies in four regular shows and English in Morning shows for years or else big and successful English movies in four shows.

That was the golden period of cinema.  I will name only some movies that ran for 100 days, 25 weeks and more. They created records during those days when the tickets were of very low rate maximum Rs.3 annas 6, Rs.2 annas 4, Rs.1 annas 2, Annas 9, Annas 4.  Name of Movies which celebrated 100 days run, 25 weeks or more: NASTIK, NAGIN, BHABHI, SASURAL, MERE MEHBOOB, PHOOL AUR PATHAR, UPKAAR, ANKHEN, DO RASTEY, EK PHOOL DO MALI, AAN MILO SAJNA, MERE GAON MERA DESH, BOBBY, ROTI KAPDA MAKAAN, SHOLEY, KABHI KABHI, AMAR AKBAR ANTHORY, LAILA MAJNU [Rishi Kapoor], KASME VAADE, DULHAN WOHI JO PIYA MAN BHAIYE, LOVE STORY [Kumar Gaurav], NIKAAH, HERO, TAWAIF, DILWALE DULHANIYA LE JAYENGE, KAHO NA PYAR HAI, GADAR, KABHI KHUSHI KABHI GAM etc. etc.

After the opening of about 5 Multi Plax Cinemas with 10 screens in Ajmer we suffered very heavy losses during the last 9/10 years and new prints 35 mm on spools were not available as every where U.F.O. and other Digital format.  We did try to continue for the sake of our old and loyal Staff who stood by us in thick and thin and also for prestige sake.  But now we are closing down our cinema with effect from 1st March, 2015 which will be a Black letter day in the History of Cinema and our name and prestige will come to an end.

A nostalgic chapter of New Majestic Talkies comes to an end now [1929-2015] eighty six [86] glorious years.  We the management and staff beg forgiveness from the Public of Ajmer, and specially my wife Gulnar who was the defacto owner of the cinema we tried to continue at the lowest rates for the poor people but alas it had to happen.

[Maj. (Rtd.) Noshir K. Marfatia]

Partner, New Majestic Talkies, Ajmer