Remember the old single screen theatres in Kolkata? This is how they are now


At a time when the youth and experienced are queuing outside multiplexes, the old single screens stand alone and forgotten. Here is a small reminder about the single screens we are so bent on forgetting.

Malancha Cinema, Malancha (Nr. Tollygunge )Malancha1

Est 1979

First Film screened at this theatre was ‘Mahatirtha kalighat’

“Today the crowd has definitely dwindled”, says the man at counter when we ask him about the effect of multiplexes on the business.


Priya Cinema, Deshapriya ParkPriya1

It started in 1960’s by screening the most iconic films of the decade. This soon became a youth rendezvous hotspot.

Today, it is the most digitally equipped single screen in the city.

Run by Priya Entertainments Private Limited, who are currently, mostly into film distribution business.

Priya Cinema has enjoyed a virtually unchanging crowd. It is possibly the only single screen in the metropolis where premiere shows are also held.


New Empire, EsplanadeIMG_3649

One of the oldest theatres of this city, New Empire was established in 1932. Before becoming a cinema hall it saw productions by literary virtuosos like Uday Shankar, Shombhu Mitra and Rabindranath tagore. It was then converted to a film theater in 1960. First international New Youth Film was held a New Empire, right in the heart of the city.

But with the advent of multiplexes the crowd became very limited. Thus, Domino’s, KFC and Wow Momo were opened within the primses for financial stability.


Elite, EsplanadeIMG_3626

This place holds 60 years of history. Once a recreational movie hall where elite British officials would sit, drink and catch a movie, now stands barren. Much of the crowd is directed towards the bar and restaurant right beside the theatre. Multiplex boom has surely hit it hard. But it still stands as one of the then elite-single theatres of Kolkata.


Navina, Anwar Shah (Opp. Princeton Club)navina1

This was established in 1971. This pocket friendly single screen hall has a niche crowd who do not really seem affected by the multiple craze.


Metro Cinema, Esplanade (S.N. Banerjee Road)images (1)

Established in 1935 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, it was once a patron of all MGM movies. Metro cinemas is right now under renovation to come back to the mainstream with a bang.

Ever since the multiplexes mushroomed around the city the crowds have been thinning at Metro. This is undoubtedly the oldest movie hall of this city.


Netro Cinema, Dum Dum (Nr. Metro Station)IMG_3694

Now a heritage of the city, Netro cinema is over 50 years old.


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