As the iconic 45-year old theatre Chandan Cinema located at Mumbai’s Juhu area waiting to shut down, local builder Wadhwa group is chalking plans to turn the complex into an integrated mixed-used commercial development.
Luxury home builder Wadhwa group, which entered into a joint development deal with Sameer Joshi, owner of Chandan Cinema, is laying groundwork for building a premium commercial development within the vicinity of the theatre that is spread across 3,600 sq mt plot, said a person aware of the development.
“A deposit of around ₹30 crore have been paid to the land owner. Investments over developing the entire space is yet to finalise," the same person said.
The commercial tower will span around 1.25 lakh sq ft comprising a boutique high office area and a premium shopping mall. The existing single screen movie hall will be redeveloped and converted into “an executive class multiplex theatre". An international operator is expected to be roped in to manage the new place, the same person added.
Construction is likely to start in the next three-four months and is expected to complete the overall development in the next two years.
A spokesperson with Wadhwa group confirmed the development but declined to comment on the details of the plan. “It’s a great location for commercial development with a lot of commercial activity happening in the Juhu and Andheri neighbourhood. Lot of interest from actors and movie personalities wanting to have their studios and offices nearby as well," said a company official who did not want to be identified.
Sameer Joshi, owner of Chandan Cinema, also confirmed the development.
“The theatre will come back. It was developed in the early seventies. Over a period of time, the format of movies have changed. So theatres also have (to) keep up with the changing environment and to the needs of the young movie goers," Joshi said.
A 650 seater movie theatre, Joshi said the size of the theatre does not justify the land plot or the area designated for the movie hall, he said.
Due to mounting losses few of the old movie theatres in Mumbai are on the verge of shutting down. Regal Cinema, an 85-year old iconic movie theatre located at Mumbai’s Colaba area is likely to pull its shutter down, according to November 7 report byMumbai Mirror.
The movie theatre has been raking a loss of ₹1 crore annually while the average occupancy has reduced to 15-20% of the 1,160 standalone seater, the report said.