It’s curtains for Filmistan

  • Naresh Kamath and Bhavika Jain, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • |
  • Updated: Feb 15, 2011 01:48 IST

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

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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