After treating the people of Delhi to many lazy afternoons, cinema both popular and parallel, footlongs and burgers, Chanakya cinema and the adjacent Nirula’s outlet at Chanakyapuri are all set to fade into the sunset.
Both the properties have been handed over to the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and in their place a multiplex is most likely to come up.
Chanakya Cinema, which started on December 17, 1970, premiering Raj Kapoor’s Mera Naam Joker will call curtain with Welcome and Tare Zameen Par. Since the 70s, the cinema has been famous for the countless Hollywood and art house movies it has screened. Aditya Khanna, the owner of Chanakya, said, “My father gave 40 years of his life to this place. We started it all. Movies like Passage to India were premiered here. We introduced Delhiites to Akira Kurosawa and Stanley Kubrick. But soon Delhi will lose a part of its legacy.”
Long before PVRs and McDonald’s took over the city, Chanakya was the place to hang out. Generations of college goers, dating couples and families have visited and revisited the landmark. Nirula’s introduced the tandoori chicken-loving Delhiites to its famous Big Boy burger, capsicum and cheese pizza and Love 21 ice cream. Even the ambience of this particular outlet is absolutely different from all their other outlets.
“This was the most happening place when we were in college. We used to watch a movie and then eat here. It was very economical... in Rs 20, we would watch a movie and eat like kings here,” said Updesh Sharma, a regular at Chanakya.