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Vol. XXXIV No. 2, May 1-15, 2024

Heritage Watch: The Heydays of Cinema Theatres

A newspaper of 1973 was being perused in connection with some other research when the reverse revealed the city entertainment column. It is published alongside and for those who cannot read Tamil it gives the full list of functioning cinema theatres in the city and outskirts. There are 66 theatres in all and shows what time and technology can do to what wasonce a thriving scenario when it came to screening of movies. Today, a mere handful of the cinema houses listed exist and even within them, some may not be screening at all.

Several of the theatres seem to have been screening re-runs – clearly old films had a good market, at least in areas that were not downtown. The list also reveals how much the city has expanded since then. Tambaram, Villivakkam, Virugambakkam, Pallavaram and Chromepet seem to be outside of municipal limits.

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