Photos: Inside India’s first cinema museum in Mumbai

Movie-mad India today produces around 1,500 films a year, dwarfing even Hollywood's output. From silent black-and-white films to colourful blockbusters bursting with song and dance, the evolution of Indian cinema is traced by a new museum in the home of Bollywood. The government-funded National Museum of Indian Cinema (NMIC) boasts stacks of memorabilia, recordings and film-making tools as well as interactive touch screens where visitors can watch clips from memorable movies.

Updated On Jan 30, 2019 10:24 AM IST
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A visitor takes a picture of a display with images of former Indian movie actors at the National Museum of Indian Cinema (NMIC), the country’s first museum showcasing the history of its film industry, in Mumbai. “It showcases to the world outside what Indian cinema has achieved in its entirety over more than 100 years,” Amrit Gangar, a consulting curator on the project, told AFP. (Punit Paranjpe / AFP)
Updated on Jan 30, 2019 10:24 AM IST

A visitor takes a picture of a display with images of former Indian movie actors at the National Museum of Indian Cinema (NMIC), the country’s first museum showcasing the history of its film industry, in Mumbai. “It showcases to the world outside what Indian cinema has achieved in its entirety over more than 100 years,” Amrit Gangar, a consulting curator on the project, told AFP. (Punit Paranjpe / AFP)

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Costing 1.4 billion rupees, India’s first national film museum is spread across a stylish 19th-century bungalow and a modern five-storey glass structure in south Mumbai. Inside, movie buffs can learn about India’s first full-length feature film, the 1913 Dadasaheb Phalke-directed “Raja Harishchandra”, and listen to recordings of K. L. Saigal, considered the first superstar of Hindi cinema. (Punit Paranjpe / AFP)
Updated on Jan 30, 2019 10:24 AM IST

Costing 1.4 billion rupees, India’s first national film museum is spread across a stylish 19th-century bungalow and a modern five-storey glass structure in south Mumbai. Inside, movie buffs can learn about India’s first full-length feature film, the 1913 Dadasaheb Phalke-directed “Raja Harishchandra”, and listen to recordings of K. L. Saigal, considered the first superstar of Hindi cinema. (Punit Paranjpe / AFP)

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Visitors browse through exhibits. They are also able to view hand-painted movie posters, including for internationally acclaimed director Satyajit Ray’s 1955 hit “Pather Panchali”, and click selfies beside a statue of Bollywood icon Raj Kapoor. (Punit Paranjpe / AFP)
Updated on Jan 30, 2019 10:24 AM IST

Visitors browse through exhibits. They are also able to view hand-painted movie posters, including for internationally acclaimed director Satyajit Ray’s 1955 hit “Pather Panchali”, and click selfies beside a statue of Bollywood icon Raj Kapoor. (Punit Paranjpe / AFP)

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The museum takes visitors through “the journey of Indian cinema, from silent films to ‘talkies’ to the studio era to the new wave,” Prashant Pathrabe, director general of the Indian government’s film department, told AFP. (Punit Paranjpe / AFP)
Updated on Jan 30, 2019 10:24 AM IST

The museum takes visitors through “the journey of Indian cinema, from silent films to ‘talkies’ to the studio era to the new wave,” Prashant Pathrabe, director general of the Indian government’s film department, told AFP. (Punit Paranjpe / AFP)

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An old Arricord motion picture camera is displayed at the National Museum of Indian Cinema. The museum celebrates not just Bollywood but also the movies made in the various regions and languages across India. “Films are made in about 25 different regional languages in India and all are included here so that the entire country, irrespective of which part you come from, can enjoy this museum,” said Pathrabe. (Punit Paranjpe / AFP)
Updated on Jan 30, 2019 10:24 AM IST

An old Arricord motion picture camera is displayed at the National Museum of Indian Cinema. The museum celebrates not just Bollywood but also the movies made in the various regions and languages across India. “Films are made in about 25 different regional languages in India and all are included here so that the entire country, irrespective of which part you come from, can enjoy this museum,” said Pathrabe. (Punit Paranjpe / AFP)

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The museum also hosts replicas of the Mutoscope, the camera used by the Lumiere Brothers, and the Praxinoscope -- a spinning cylindrical animation device invented in France in the 1870s.The idea for the museum was first mooted in 2006 and it was due to open in 2014 when the exhibition rooms housed in the 6,000 square foot heritage building were declared ready. (Punit Paranjpe / AFP)
Updated on Jan 30, 2019 10:24 AM IST

The museum also hosts replicas of the Mutoscope, the camera used by the Lumiere Brothers, and the Praxinoscope -- a spinning cylindrical animation device invented in France in the 1870s.The idea for the museum was first mooted in 2006 and it was due to open in 2014 when the exhibition rooms housed in the 6,000 square foot heritage building were declared ready. (Punit Paranjpe / AFP)

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However the opening was delayed after the government decided to build the new wing, which includes a section exploring the impact independence hero Mahatma Gandhi had on cinema around the world, including on Charlie Chaplin. (Punit Paranjpe / AFP)
Updated on Jan 30, 2019 10:24 AM IST

However the opening was delayed after the government decided to build the new wing, which includes a section exploring the impact independence hero Mahatma Gandhi had on cinema around the world, including on Charlie Chaplin. (Punit Paranjpe / AFP)

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“This is the first time I have seen such a huge museum about cinema,” said Maria Jones, who had travelled from her home in the state of Kerala, to visit the museum. “I’m really happy and excited to see the history of Indian cinema until now. The different cameras have been fascinating for me. The first cameras were really huge,” she told AFP. (Punit Paranjpe / AFP)
Updated on Jan 30, 2019 10:24 AM IST

“This is the first time I have seen such a huge museum about cinema,” said Maria Jones, who had travelled from her home in the state of Kerala, to visit the museum. “I’m really happy and excited to see the history of Indian cinema until now. The different cameras have been fascinating for me. The first cameras were really huge,” she told AFP. (Punit Paranjpe / AFP)

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The museum does contain some gaps though as many of India’s early films were never preserved while other artefacts have been damaged over the years. For example, the last remaining print of India’s first “talkie”, the 1931 “Alam Ara” (The Light of the World), was destroyed in a fire in 2003. Still, officials expect the museum to be a hit with fans. (Punit Paranjpe / AFP)
Updated on Jan 30, 2019 10:24 AM IST

The museum does contain some gaps though as many of India’s early films were never preserved while other artefacts have been damaged over the years. For example, the last remaining print of India’s first “talkie”, the 1931 “Alam Ara” (The Light of the World), was destroyed in a fire in 2003. Still, officials expect the museum to be a hit with fans. (Punit Paranjpe / AFP)

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