Pune’s 84-year-old theatre and its’ cinematic magic

The screening area is still a stage which has a staircase to go below it

pune Updated: Aug 07, 2017 10:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
theatre,kibe laxmi,stage
Kibe Laxmi Theater in Pune.(Pratham Gokhale/HT PHOTO)

Kibe Laxmi Theatre, situated at 681, Budhwar Peth was earlier a wada owned by Sardar Ganesh Vithal Kibe alias Daji Saheb Kibe of Indore, since 1860.

Suresh Kibe, owner of the theatre says, “When Daji was on his way to Ashtavinayak yatra along with his entourage, he had to stop in Pune due to heavy rainfall. He stayed back, went on to build a wada and also held a Ganeshotsav festival here. The Kibes have owned this place for five generations now.”

The Kibe wada doubled up as press and office for Maharashtra’s oldest newspaper, Daily Dyanprakash. It also housed Hujurpaga School for girls here, all of which was burnt down during a fire on May 25, 1926.

Kibe adds, “It was then decided to build a theatre/stage, for which the construction was completed in 1934. Sardar Ramchandra Mukundrao Kibe, our grandfather named it Kibe Laxmi Theatre in honour of his mother. Around, the same time, Prabhat Film Company of Kolhapur shifted to Pune and the place was leased to them for cinema exhibition purposes. It was called Prabhat till Dcember 25, 2014.”

The place was reopened as Kibe Laxmi Theatre in January 2016. The place has been renovated while maintaining the old charm and essence of the theatre. The screening area is still a stage which has a staircase to go below it. There is a green room and all the other essentials required to screen a film as well as stage a play.

“I am an electrical engineer, so one major change brought in here was the sound system. We now have a Dolby 650 system with 38 speakers and a BARCO 4k projector. All of this still at the rate of a single theatre ticket.”

Kibes want the theatre to be accessible to the local crowd. “We have newly built ramps to take care of the specially abled and senior citizens.”

Where: 681, Budhwar Peth

When: Kibe Laxmi Theatre, regular movie show timings

First Published: Aug 07, 2017 10:51 IST