India’s first multi-theatre complex

I don’t know how many of you still remember this great theatre. Though it is history now, it was demolished as the former Chief Minister wanted to have the AIADMK Headquarters there. Then it was said that the Times Of India would set up their facility in this premises and roll-out the Chennai edition. None of this has happened. Closed to 10 years has gone by since this prime piece of land on which was the city’s most sought after entertainment destination rested. Yes, I am talking about the Safire Theatre complex. On Mount Road, just at the edge of the Spencer side of the flyover. You can’t get any prime in the city. It was India’s first multi-theatre complex and a landmark of sorts. It housed 3 theatres. Safire, Blue Diamond Emerald. The first movie to be screened at Safire was Cleopatra and the Blue Diamond had a unique system of Continuos Shows starting at 10am. You could go in with a pass and come out whenever you feel like. No breaks. Poseidon Aadventure, Towering Inferno and many many great movies have been screened here. The last one I saw here was the Tamil Film ‘Gentleman’. But today, this great place is not there. And we are fast losing places like these? Not a good sign at all.

3 Comments so far

  1. G V Balasubramanian (unregistered) on August 12th, 2006 @ 12:16 am

    Vinod, I remember having seen some great movies like “Sound of Music”, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” , “Escape to Victory” , “Operation Day Break” etc. in this great theatre which unfortunately is non existent now.

  2. phantom363 (unregistered) on August 15th, 2006 @ 2:59 am

    safire started out with a big bang. they had great movies for the few years of their life. the veecumsee family maintaining the theatres. also if i remember right, the seats were thinly cushioned & the aircon lukewarm. somehow it reaked of the word ‘cheap’, in contrast to the nice movies. anand was anyday a better theatre in terms of comfort. you really sank into the cushions. the aircon was enough to satisfy even a polar bear. and before indira gandhi, they released mgm movies on par with hollywood! little anand, again was better than blue diamond or emerald. the latter two gathered the stella crowd on a regular basis. and was a magnet for guys from arts & loyola colleges :) who came to see the chicks who came to see the movies. :)

  3. phantom363 (unregistered) on August 15th, 2006 @ 3:00 am

    .. and if i remember right, safire had the first coffee vending machine in madras! it did not work most of the time. they found it cheaper and reliable to sub a human there :)

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