Filmy Ripples: Movie Studios (Part 1)

Movie studios of Madras part 1. Reblog from TCRC.

The Cinema Resource Centre (TCRC)

By P.V.Gopalakrishnan

Once in my high school vacation, a guy in our friend circle motivated us for a trip to the far away AVM studio to witness a film shoot, on the pretext one of his relatives worked there. Our long bus trip to Puliyur and beyond made a bunch of us cross a lot of fields and Aubergine cultivated lands (you know, Kodambakkam Kathirikkai was very popular in those days), till we reached our dream destination. But our starry eyed expectations were soon blown off by the studio sentry who, forthwith, denied entry to our small group of school kids.

Today, the word ‘Kollywood’, coined after Bollywood, would refer the whole hub encompassing Vadapalani to Kodambakkam to Saligramam, the nerve center of Tamil film industry & TV. It is in this topography, the mighty film studios such as AVM & Vijaya Vahini once clustered & grew with vast facilities…

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Filmy Ripples : Cinema Halls of old Madras – An Anthology (Part 2)

Posting Part 2 of the ‘Cinema Halls of old Madras’ from TCRC. Some of my pictures are used in this post.

The Cinema Resource Centre (TCRC)

The movies always began after ‘The News Reel’ of the Information & Broadcasting Ministry of the government.
Whenever a song sequence came in the movie the audience fled out to have a soda or smoke or to relieve themselves!
In the very few theatres that were air conditioned in those days, after the first reel was screened, the operator used to quietly switch off the a/c. In those times the word consumerism was unknown and none batted an eyelid at such practice!
On the metal backs of the seats you would find creative engravings by the ‘learned’ audience. In some seats the sponge was found scooped out by some disgruntled theatre goers. The washrooms had a mixed stink of phenyl and human fluids while their walls bore unsharable graffitis.
But the audience inside these halls, with high ceilings sporting sporadic ceiling fans, lived the movies with their favourite chocolate faced…

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Standard Herald

Standard Herald car was a lovable car from Chennai.  

This ad is from a 1962 souvenir of Bala Brindavan, a nursery school in Gandhinagar,  Adyar. 

Thanks to Mr VS Sukumar for the souvenir. 

Mother’s care

Shelter for street children
Shelter for street children

The statue of Mother Mary adorns the entrance of a shelter and rehabilitation centre for street children run by a Christian agency. Gandhinagar, Adyar.

 

Show of Strength

Tug of war at Besant Nagar Elliott's Beach on a car-free Sunday morning
Tug of war at Besant Nagar Elliott’s Beach on a car-free Sunday morning

It is show of strength in the Tamil Nadu assembly today. How I wish it were as simple as this!

Lion

Simha vaahanam at a templeSimha vaahanam at a temple
Simha vaahanam at a temple

Lion faced image to carry the idol of amman during temple festivals.
There was also a horse image to carry the idol of Parasurama, at this Ellai Amman Kovil in a fishing hamlet.

Secular fishing village

multi religeous symbols
multi religious symbols
A Muslim dargah in predominantly Hindu fishing villageA Muslim dargah in predominantly Hindu fishing village
A Muslim dargah in predominantly Hindu fishing village

Uroor Olcott kuppam is a fishing village near Adyar. The villagers are predominantly Hindu but religious harmony prevails. There are a several temples and family shrines dedicated to Hindu Gods and Goddesses dotting the village. There is also a dargah dedicated to a Nagore Andavar with a flag brought from Nagore. Surprisingly for a coastal village, there are no churches.

The village chief told us that they often pray to Nagore Andavar before launching a new fishing net of a boat. He added that they also attend several functions and festivals at the nearby Velnkanni church. He concluded by saying that while Hindus are open in attending any religious functions, ‘they’ are reluctant to reciprocate.

Left out of the game

Left out of the cricket game
Left out of the cricket game

The little boy seems to be left out the game of cricket being played by his friends in the fishing village of Uroor Olcott kuppam near Besant Nagar. Note the concrete cricket pitch not far from the tourist-friendly Elliott’s Beach.

The fishing net on which the boy is lying down costs about Rs 300,000 according to a senior villager. It is a drag net designed to catch different types of fishes, unlike other nets which are optimized for a  particular type of fish.

With grandkid

Grandma and granddaughter
Grandmother and granddaughter

At the fishing village of Uroor Olcott Kuppam, Besant Nagar. Sitting in front of

Grandmother with granddaughter sitting in front of their house. On the left is the family shrine of the ‘kula deivam’. The old lady explained that all family functions will start only after propitiating this deity.

Taken with phone camera – Xiaomi Redmi Note 4