One of the most iconic single screen theatre of Delhi, Regal cinema is closing its doors on March 30 after a run of 85 years. As the owners plan to give the theatre a makeover, and open a four-auditorium multiplex in place of the iconic structure, Hindustan Times caught up with eminent Bollywood names hailing from Delhi, to hear their unforgettable memories of the times spent at Regal cinema.
Anupam Kher: I remember that my film Saaransh (1984) released at Regal cinema, and it ran for many months there. It was one of my finest films and a role that I would always cherish.
Shakti Kapoor: I feel sad. My first date during my college days was at the Regal cinema and I vividly remember that the theatre used to have this royal feel to it, with different boxes. There used to be boxes for six people and four people and we had taken the one for four of us. The theatre’s royal feeling will never be forgotten.
Satish Kaushik: My school (Harcourt Butler Sr Sec School) used to be at Mandir Marg, near Connaught place, and we would bunk classes and go to Regal to watch movies. Once the entire class bunked the school and went to watch the film Anand (1971). Later, we all got reprimanded for it, but that’s a different story. One of my first few films was shot there (at Regal). I was also an Assistant Director then, and played a short part in the film. So, to shoot my first film in a theatre, where I watched a lot of films was a special feeling for me.
Divya Dutta: Sad to know that such a classic theatre is shutting down. I have loads of memories of Regal cinema because I’ve grown up in Delhi. My first feature film that I saw in theatre was at Regal - Kaala Patthar (1979). I remember there is Hanuman Mandir close by. So, it used to be a ritual for us to watch a movie at Regal and then go and enjoy the chaat and kachauri outside Hanuman Mandir.
Manoj Bajpayee: When we were looking for work in our initial days, Regal used to be our place to watch all kinds of films. It used to be quite exciting, and definitely sad that such a landmark is closing down.
Subhash Ghai: I used to stay near Connaught Place, and Regal was a place that I would often visit. It was as ‘regal’ as its name. It’s sad to see it closing because today we need bigger screens to give audience a good experience, which is not the case with multiplexes. If people want to experience a movie on the big screen, Regal was one place to go. I request government organisations to support big screen theatres.
Nimrat Kaur: The first film I watched in a theatre was Janbaaz (1986), and at Regal cinema. I remember going there and I was mesmerised by the theatre, and since then, I’ve watched so many films there. It would be a complete full day outing, where we’d watch a film and then go and have almond milk at Keventers.
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