DoonitedPICTURE PALACE -MUSSOORIE, Article By Anuj SaxenaNews
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Article By Anuj Saxena , a senior journalist is an amid writer, traveller – explorer, nature lover and a zoophilist to the core. He holds a first hand experience of exploring the beauty of nature across more than 75 countries. 

Today I am going to tell you some interesting facts about it.

 You will be surprised to know that Mussoorie has a pride of having one of the earliest cinema halls of the entire India. You people must be crazy to know the name of that cinema hall. Yes – Picture Palace was the first cinema hall in Mussoorie , that was opened in 1912. Actually it’s original name was Electric Picture Palace. Why Electric Picture Palace ? You may have this question in your mind. Well, I tell you why  ? After few months of the coronation of The King George V in 1911 in Delhi , 1912 was the year when electricity came to the hill station and Picture Palace was equipped with electric equipment’s. So this was the reason behind it’s name.

After Picture Palace, five more picture halls came up in Mussoorie and the name of them were Vasu, Rialto. Basant, Capital, and Jubilee.  In the heyday of Mussoorie,  cinema halls flourisshed and visitors as well as locals spent many a merry hour watching films, old and new – Indian and foreign.

Morning shows at various cinema halls were a great hit with everyone and so were the late night shows. Rialto and Picture Palace used to run five shows a day all round the year. There was a lot of curiosity among people to know which would be the next release. They used to come and see the posters displayed in the gallery outside. And one more nice thing about the old cinemas was that you could sit there alone in the dark for a couple of hours and nobody bothered you. And if you had the right companion, you could hold hands for as long as you liked or until the lights came on . Of course, if the film is very much exciting you might end up holding the wrong hand.Once this happened to one of my known , and he still have a broken tooth to show for it.

 The population of Mussoorie is limited and local visitors to the cinema were always a limited number. But till the mid – eighties, when people used to come with their families for long vacations in the summer, there used to be a crowed at the cinemas. But things changed a lot by the beginning of the nineties when people find alternatives like VCRs, cable TV , VCD and DVD players. 

So Mussoorie once had six cinemas and now of course, there wasn’t a single cinema left in town. One by one they closed down. You may not see the ghosts of Robert Taylor  and Errol Flynn, but you might well meet the ghost of Arthur Fisher, who, for most of his adult life, was the proud projectionist at the Picture Palace.

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