Top 5 Heritage Movie Theatres in Mumbai in 2023

Explore Mumbai's Rich Cinematic History: 5 Heritage Film Theatres to Experience
Metro Theatre

Amidst the era of movie multiplexes, we reflect on the single-screen theaters of the past, where the entertainment wasn't restricted solely to the movie itself.

1. Edward Theatre



Edward Theatre, situated in Kalbadevi and established in 1914, is a remarkable example of Art Deco architecture in Mumbai. Initially intended for staging plays, the theatre is named after King Edward V, who had visited the city in the same year of its opening. The 509-seat auditorium still boasts a music pit below the stage and two box seats on either side, reminiscent of its past performance ambience. While it was once only screening B-grade films, in recent years the theatre has gained popularity by showcasing foreign cinema from filmmakers like Wolfgang Becker and Jean Luc Godard on a weekly basis, in collaboration with the Enlighten Film Society. Though the theatre's infrastructure has not undergone any significant renovations, its design is captivating, albeit slightly deteriorated. Jai Santoshi Maa, a film released in 1975, is said to have had the theatre's most successful run, with sold-out shows for an impressive 48 weeks.

2. Liberty Cinema



Located next to the Marine Lines Station and established in 1949 to celebrate India's independence from British rule, Liberty is a prime example of rococo architecture and style in Mumbai. It has hosted numerous premieres, including Mehboob Khan's Andaz (1949), Sooraj Barjatya's Hum Aapke Hai Koun..! (1994), and Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves (1948), which was the first international film to be screened in India and is based on the novel by Luigi Bartolini. In 2012, the theatre ceased screening films, but it resumed in 2016 with the showing of Nitesh Tiwari's Dangal (2016), starring Aamir Khan. Despite the passage of time, Liberty has managed to maintain its charm with its wooden carvings, red-carpeted floors, and vintage-style marquee. Moreover, the theatre's interior technology has been updated to provide crystal-clear film presentations. It is now considered a Grade 2 Heritage site.

Filmmaker, actor, and film critic Siddhant Adlakha appreciates the fact that Liberty and Regal have withstood the test of time, while contemporaries like Sterling and Metro have been replaced by multiplexes. He believes that while multiplexes are not inherently problematic, they tend to focus less on the movie-watching experience, while classic single-screen cinemas still prioritize presentation with their resources and staff.

3. Matterden CFC (earlier called Deepak Talkies and Saraswati Talkies)



Originally built as Saraswati Talkies in 1926, the venue's name was changed to Deepak Talkies in the 1960s. It is located in Lower Parel and was once the go-to entertainment destination for people from all walks of life, including British officials, mill owners, and laborers. In addition to screening films, the theatre also used to host live performances and acts, with audiences seated on the floors, chairs, and benches. Over time, the stone, teakwood, and Mangalorean tile structure fell into disrepair, and it only screened Bhojpuri, Hindi, and Marathi movies until 2014, when it underwent renovations. Today, the 20,000-square-foot theatre, managed by Carnival Cinemas, not only hosts other events but also attracts audiences for foreign films, thanks to its partnership with the Enlighten Film Society. Siddhant Adlakha admires Matterden's intimate atmosphere and appreciates the emphasis on picture and sound quality, which is often lacking in most multiplexes.

4. Metro Cinema



Starting as a theatre that only screened Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) productions, Metro Cinema has come a long way from its inception in 1938. The Mumbai-based cinema hosted the first-ever Filmfare Awards in 1954 and was renovated in 2006 under Adlabs. The interiors of the theatre have been preserved and remain a glorious representation of its past, with Belgian chandeliers, marble floorings and old projectors. In 2018, it became the first rooftop solar-powered multiplex. The cinema has embraced technological advancements such as cutting-edge projectors, plush seats and wide screens, ensuring a seamless movie experience. According to Shraddha Jahagirdar-Saxena, Executive Editor of Verve, "It was a social occasion, the entire experience of being in a comfortable elegant space."

5. Regal Cinema



Regal, a theatre that opened to the public in 1933 in Mumbai, is a testament to cultural collaboration between Indian landlords, an English architect, and a Czechoslovakian artist who designed its interiors. This cooperation created a unique identity for the theatre, reflecting the diverse backgrounds of the city it serves. Regal was also known for its technological advancements, such as pioneering cinemascope in India and efficient neon lights. Moreover, Regal was the first centrally air-conditioned theatre in India, a significant achievement given the country's tropical climate. The interiors of the theatre were adorned with sunburst motifs, an iconic Art Deco architecture symbol. For its time, going to watch a movie at Regal was considered a regal experience.

Although Regal has been a part of the city for over 85 years, it might not be around much longer, which is a pity, according to Adlakha. The collective experience of watching a movie with a thousand people without the distraction of seat service or picture misalignment in an ornate movie palace is a rich and rewarding experience that may soon be lost.






Many of our readers have been bored lately as they are stuck at home because of the pandemic of COVID-19. Thanks to the technology we have today there are different ways to entrain yourself since the world wide web is a big place to explore. We make it easier for you to give you the latest TV shows, movies, celebrity gossip, and many more worthwhile articles, but today we found a new site called from the best online casino sites for gambling with real money in India. Dive into the excitement of playing top-class online casino games on the most reliable and safe real rupee premium gambling sites available today., this site provides all of our readers from India, the best in from the best online casino sites for gambling with real money in India. Dive into the excitement of playing top-class online casino games on the most reliable and safe real rupee premium gambling sites available casino. Time to check out those new TV shows we love to recommend while playing different fun games. from the best online casino sites for gambling with real money in India. Dive into the excitement of playing top-class online casino games on the most reliable and safe real rupee premium gambling sites available today.