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When Delhi's Regal Cinema Held A Ballet Performance: A Look At Its 85-Year-Old Legacy Through Vintage Photos

End of an era.

23/03/2017 3:13 PM IST | Updated 23/03/2017 4:10 PM IST

NEW DELHI -- It was the first cinema to open in Connaught Place in 1932. While other theatres built in CP in the 1930s -- the Plaza, Rivoli, and Odeon -- regularly showed Hollywood films, only popular Hindi films were screen at the Regal cinema. Perhaps this is why it was Bollywood star Raj Kapoor's favourite hall.

Gone are the days when the cinema would host red carpet film premieres, and each show would be booked in advance. Once frequented by dignitaries such as Lord Mountbatten and Jawaharlal Nehru, the theatre's patrons have dwindled over time. Today, it plays the latest Bollywood flicks, as well as B-grade films.

This 31 March will be its final film screening before it downs its shutters. It will reportedly be pulled down to construct a multiplex in its place.

In its 85-year-old history, Regal cinema has hostel concerts, theatre, and ballet performances.

  • Government of India Archives
    Undated photo of Regal Cinema House, Connaught Place. 
  • Government of India Archives
    Photo taken after a ballet show performance given by members of the Soviet Cultural Delegation at Regal, New Delhi on January 29, 1954.
  • Government of India Archives
    World famous Russian Ballorina Maya Plisetskaya elegantly poised in a sequence from “Dying Swan”, an acclaimed ballet dance, Maya was a member of the Soviet Cultural Delegation to India and this picture was taken at her performance at the Regal New Delhi on January 29, 1954.
  • Neeraj Paul, TOI, Delhi, BCCL
    Regal Cinema hall at Connaught Place, New Delhi, photographed on 9 October, 2006.
  • PTI
  • Yogesh Kumar, BCCL
    Regal Cinema in Connaught Place is the first theater in area that was opened in 1932 by Sir Sobha Singh and became the entertainment hub of New Delhi. Photographed on 4 May, 2016.
  • mm,bccl
  • PTI

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