The first theatre in India was Elphinstone Palace in Calcutta

Jamshedji Framji Madan, professionally known as J. F. Madan, was an Indian theatre and film magnate who was one of the pioneers of film production in India, an early exhibitor, distributor and producer of films and plays. He accumulated his wealth on the Parsi theatre district scene in Bombay in the 1890s where he owned two theatre companies. He moved to Calcutta in 1902 where he founded Elphinstone Bioscope Company, and began producing and exhibiting silent movies including Jyotish Sarkar’s Bengal Partition Movement in 1905. He expanded his empire considerably after acquiring rights to Pathé Frères films. He produced Satyavadi Raja Harishchandra in 1917 and Bilwamangal in 1919. Satyavadi Raja Harishchandra was the first feature film to be shot in Calcutta. Elphinstone merged into Madan Theatres Limited in 1919 which brought adapted many of Bengali’s most popular literary works to the stage.Madan Theatres was a major force in Indian theatre throughout the 1920s and 1930s.

Chaplin Cinema was the oldest single screen movie theatre in Kolkata. It was located in 5/1 Chowringhee Place. In 1907 Jamshedji Framji Madan opened this cinema in India.

In 1907 Jamshedji Framji Madan established Chaplin Cinema, at that time its name was Elphinstone Picture Palace. It was named Minerva Theatre later. In this theatre father of Uttam Kumar used to run the projector. The condition of the theatre deteriorated over decades before the Calcutta Municipal Corporation overhauled it, and christened in Chaplin in 1980s. The theatre was demolished by the municipal corporation in 2013 after remaining non-functional for several years.

 

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