Kolkata’s Iconic Metro Cinema back in a New Avatar

Four years after its curtains were downed; the city’s iconic Metro Cinema is back in a new avatar – as a multiplex and a departmental store. The gate of the renovated heritage building opened to welcome people to Metro Central. Located at Esplanade area in the heart of the city, it now houses a 50,000 square feet departmental store and a multiplex, in place of the single screen theatre, officials of the departmental store said.

The departmental store opened recently, but the multiplex to be operated by INOX was expected to begin screening of movies within 2-3 months. The Metro cinema was built in 1934 by the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) to promote their films in Kolkata, targeting the large English-speaking population of that time.

Opened in 1935, the theatre was designed by New York-based Scottish theatre architect, Thomas W. Lamb, who also designed the Metro Cinema in Mumbai for MGM later in 1938. The theatre pulled its shutters in 2014 as it failed to remain viable in the midst of growing multiplex culture. The departmental store – Central Metro, a venture of the Central fashion chain – would keep alive the nostalgia of cinema associated with the theatre. Central CEO Vishnu Prasad said the store has amalgamated fashion and culture. “There will be displays of major movies that had been screened here in the past,” Prasad said.

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