Tomorrow, a new Bollywood landmark, UTV Stars’ Walk Of The Stars, at Bandra’s Bandstand promenade, will be opened to Mumbai citizens and tourists — free of charge. Like its Hollywood counterpart, Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard, this will feature pavement slabs with hand impressions of many of Bollywood’s biggest stars, and benches with statues of yesteryear actors.
Members of the Kapoor family are the first batch of stars whose handprinted slabs will be placed on the promenade as part of the beautification project that continues there. Actor Kareena Kapoor will inaugurate the walk tomorrow.
Nikhil Gandhi, business head of UTV said, “We announced this venture five months ago, but we’ve been working on it for over 18 months. Today, I have to thank the BMC, the residents’ associations and various other bodies that showed overwhelming support. Not only did we want people to come closer to their favourite actors without paying for a ticket, but also help the city look prettier with a space that’s dedicated to the film industry that thrives here.”
When asked why the Kapoors had been chosen over other Bollywood families to start the project, Gandhi said, “The Kapoors, right from Prithviraj to Ranbir, have contributed immensely to the growth of Bollywood. It was only fair to start with them.”
About the other attractions that will be added, he says, “We will feature benches dedicated to Guru Dutt, Dev Anand, Nargis, Sunil Dutt, Nutan and Bimal Roy soon. Slabs with hand impressions of the Khans, the Bachchans and others are also being prepared. We will continue to add slabs to the Walk Of The Stars for years since Bollywood produces a superstar almost every Friday.”
The channel’s next Walk Of The Stars will open at Kingdom Of Dreams, Gurgaon, in association with the IIFA fraternity. The venture will take a couple of months to open, since some key formalities are yet to be completed. Also, similar landmarks will be opened in cities like Dubai, London and even Los Angeles, apart from places in South East Asia.
“We’re in talks with various officials from these cities. Once the Mumbai walk opens, and they’re convinced about the support we have from the film industry, it will become easier for us to open more Walk Of The Stars across the globe,” Gandhi says.