Following widespread public outcry, the state government has come forward to save Bharatmata, a cinema hall at Lalbaug. The cinema hall exclusively screens Marathi movies.
The cinema hall is built on a land owned by the National Textiles Corporation (NTC). The NTC has demanded its land back from Bharatmata’s operator, the Bhopatkar family, because the land lease has lapsed and the owner wants to develop the land.
Following this move, Marathi film industry and its patrons staged an agitation to save the 72-year-old theatre that provides entertainment at a very low price.
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said in a press release on Tuesday that NTC and its partners Bhaskar Group, who together will develop the mill land, have agreed to use a specific piece of land for a theatre that will show Marathi movies. He did not clarify whether Bharatmata will be preserved in its original form or a new theater will come up there.
“Greater Mumbai’s development plan has reserved a portion of this mill land for a theatre (exclusive for Marathi movies). The joint venture company has assured us to use the same for this purpose.”
The CM’s office said a meeting would be held on January 19 to decide the further course of action.
The owner of Bharatmata cinema hall, Kapil Bhopatkar, on Tuesday met Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray at his
residence and sought his help to save the cinema hall. Thackeray assured him that his party would extend its support to