Friday, June 24, 2016

G O P A L A P U R A M - Part 2

No TV, no cell phones, no internet. Having said that those born after the eighties may wonder
if the residents of Gopalapuram were living in "dark ages" !!

Far from it....

Gopalapuram was (and is) located strategically in Chennai.

No TV meant that people had time to live in a real world as against virtual.... People interacted
well within themselves and helped each other.

Cinema provided the entertainment. Quite a few cinema theatres were within walking distance
from Gopalapuram. For English movies it was Odeon theatre near the Royapettah clock tower.
(it is now known as Melody). The magnificent Safire complex was conceived and built by Dev
Vecumsee opened in 1965 with the movie "Cleopatra". It later added two more screens, Blue Diamond and Emerald. Close to that, Umapathy built his Anand theatre. Since there were a lot
of people coming to see the movies he added another screen Little Anand. Further down we
had the New Globe (later known as Alankar). A little beyond that was well, quite many.
Midland (later became Jayapradha when the actor bought it) Wellington, New Elphinstone (now
Raheja complex), Casino, Gaiety and Chitra. Near the Royapettah police station came up yet
another wonderful theatre Pilot. It was the first one with a cinerama screen. The movie could be
simultaneously screened from three projectors.... Unfortunately the cinerama concept didn't pick up.
Later came up the Woodlands theatre complex.

Even the so called theatres which were dubbed as being far off, were if one were to judge by
today's standards, quite near! To name a few...  Nagesh, Rajakumari (T.Nagar) Star (Triplicane)
Kamadhenu (Mylapore)... One could easily reach these places within 15 minutes on a cycle...
The cycle was a popular mode of transport.... be continued (please keep adding your own experiences and inputs!)

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