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HindustanTimes Wed,26 Nov 2014

It’s curtains for Filmistan

Naresh Kamath and Bhavika Jain, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, February 15, 2011
First Published: 01:43 IST(15/2/2011) | Last Updated: 01:48 IST(15/2/2011)

Filmistan Studios in Goregaon (West), one of the prime spots where Hindi movies used to be shot, is getting ready to down its shutters.

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The current owners of the studio that was founded in 1944 by late actor Ashok Kumar and director Shashadar Mukherjee have decided to put the four-and-a-half-acre property on the block.

According to ML Gupta, vice chairman and managing director, Kamanwala Housing Construction Limited (KHCL), a major stakeholder, “It is a prime piece of property and we expect to get a good price for it.”

The owners expect the property to fetch more than Rs. 600 crore. According to real estate sources, the deal has already been finalised with a major realty firm, which is listed on the stock exchange. Gupta, however, denied this saying, “We have not yet concluded the deal.”

The Filmistan Studio was a name to reckon with in the period between 1944-57 when it produced films like ‘Shaheed’, ‘Jagriti’, ‘Munimjee’, ‘Paying Guest’ and ‘Tumsa Nahin Dekha’, which went on to become box-office hits.

Ashok Kumar and Mukherjee started this venture after falling out with Bombay Talkies. It was started as a production house and known as Filmistan Film Production.

But, after 1957, the production unit was shut down and the place was rented out for shooting. The studio has 14 stages, a police station and also a jail, which it rents to production units.

Just last year, another landmark, the 15-acre Kamalistan Studios was sold by the Amrohi family to three different builders — DB Realty, the Luthrias and Pune-based Avinash Bhosle — for Rs200 crore.

Real estate experts say land has always been a premium in the city. “No land deal is a bad deal within city limits,” said Pankaj Kapoor, managing director, Liasas Foras, a real estate research firm.

He said he had not come across a single deal where the builder has suffered a loss.


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