Down memory lane, through Mumbai's bylanes

Mumbai- You may have been living in Mumbai all your life, but have never set foot in these lanes of the city. The lane behind Grant Road station, Falkland Road, Pila House - all these landmarks belong to an area better known as the red light district of Mumbai. 

Ironically, this area also houses many treasures of Mumbai's heritage, especially that related to entertainment.

This area houses a number of entertainment premises in the city and houses a number of theatres like New Roshan, Moti and Alankar, not to mention the Alfred theatre, which is well known for its hand-painted posters from a bygone era. Most of these are in a dilapidated state and exhibit C grade movies. But the architecture of these theatres bear signs of an era that speaks of aesthetics and elegance.

This trail ends at Royal Opera house, which is India's only surviving opera house. Situated on Charni Road, near Girgaon Chowpatty beach, the adjective ‘Royal’ was prefixed to ‘Opera House’ to reflect the fact that its foundation stone was laid during the British Raj in 1909, and King George V inaugurated the building in 1911 while the building was still under construction. Work on the Royal Opera House was completed in 1912. In 1991, it held its last film show before closing down. It took the owners 25 years to restore it to glory finally in October 2016.These precincts in south Mumbai has several unique stories to tell. Most of them are on verge of extinction. But some ardent Mumbaikars are trying hard to restore them to their original glory so that future generations can continue to have a glimpse of Mumbai’s glorious past.

 

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