1980. For several weeks the lovers / moviegoers hear on the radio and in cinemas, 'Aap Jaisa Koi Meri Zindagi Mein Aaye', a song composed by Biddu, an artist of Indian origin settled in England, and performed by Nazia Hassan . The song is a smash success and serves as a foretaste of 'Qurbani', the highly anticipated new production of Feroz Khan.
When the movie comes out on the screen, the delirium. In Port-Louis, Opera House and Rex are in the evening, taken over by moviegoers. Move crowds to see Feroz Khan and Vinod Khanna to woo Zeenat Aman who, in addition to mimic 'Aap Jaisa Koi', appears in a bikini, a tradition in movies of FK International.
Reza Salim, Gaya, Dev Anand, Vidyanand, Bolo and Satish flock to Opera House, located in Plaine Verte, Port-Louis. Once on site, noting the crowd in front of the room and desperately trying to get tickets, they decided to try their luck at Rex. But it is the same scene there too.
"We did not get discouraged. Someone suggested that we return to Opera House to try our luck again. We listened and, strangely, this time we all got our tickets. The room was packed and there was not a single free place, "recalls Satish.
"At the time, cinemas were divided into three classes: balcony, first and second. Someone lit firecrackers and set them loose from the balcony on the second class. Those who occupied the benches fled to avoid being burned and we sat quietly in the seats! There was no other fireworks launched from the balcony and we enjoyed 'Qurbani' in peace, "he says.
Brilliantly staged and performed by Feroz Khan, 'Qurbani' sets fire to the screen and a huge success. Unfortunately, a few days after the fire is literally in the room and Opera House is completely burned. This is the end of a mythical room.
The golden age of cinema Maurice was born three decades before Qurbani, when other stars occupied the top of the poster. The fervor was the same for Indian films like western movies. That Indian stars, American and European descended on our screens! That large productions, great epics of biblical and mythological epics have been delighting generations of moviegoers to the cinema which represented the cheapest hobby, after that go to the beach.
In the early 70s, were in vogue stars Shammi Kapoor, Dharmendra, Jeetendra, Rajesh Khanna, Vinod Khanna, Feroz Khan, Shashi Kapoor, Mehmood, Rishi Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan did before itself as the absolute superstar. Shyam remembers that time.
"We lived north of Port-Louis and my father, a movie buff at heart, took us to the cinema even if we were eight in the family. We used to go there in the evening and we walked from the house to Opera House, Luna Park and Majestic. We came home on foot also, having traveled more than six miles round trip. '
"We went to the movies with another family, so that we were a band of about fifteen lads! It was very exciting moments and they remained etched in my memory. Among the films we saw, there 'Yakeen' (Dharmendra), 'Prince' (Shammi Kapoor), 'Aradhana' (Rajesh Khanna), 'Andaaz' (Shammi Kapoor), 'Hare Rama Hare Krishna (Dev Anand), 'Purab Aur Pachchim' (Manoj Kumar), 'Raja Jani' (Dharmendra), 'Roti Kapda Aur Makaan' (Manoj Kumar), 'Prem Nagar' (Rajesh Khanna), 'Zanjeer' (Amitabh Bachchan) and ' Sholay '(Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan), "says Shyam. The rooms were always full and people were moving family.
Satish's brother Shyam, also cherishes these moments. "At the time, film was also walking alongside another trade, hotel di tea '(tea hotels). There was Bismillah and Crystal Plaine Verte and Pakistan, Providence and Hotel Hole in Desforges Street. On returning to base, moviegoers stopped at these hotels to drink a good cup of tea, eating bread with butter, cheese and chilli cakes or otherwise enjoy the pudding. '
Two films in the program
In the 70s, the rooms are large and program two films at the same meeting instead of as today. For example, 'Yakeen' is programmed with 'Andaz', 'Aradhana' with 'Prince' and 'Purab Aur Pachchim' with 'Raja Jani'. Or 'Amar Akbar Anthony' with 'Don'. Imagine going to see two super success of Amitabh Bachchan at the same meeting! The moviegoer passes and nearly six hours in the room!
Often a movie buff can even double, that is to say, attend the two films scheduled in the evening after attending the morning session! Satish has already had such an experience. "I remember one day my aunt took me to the cinema during my school holidays in Mahebourg. At the end of the session, when we returned on foot, we crossed the road youngest son who went to see the session scheduled in the evening. He offered to accompany him. I again entered the room Mahé to review two films I had seen in the morning, "he says.
Satish said he had the same experience at least two more times. "It shows you how crazy it was cinema at that time! Today, people can have satellite channels, speakers, home theater ', full DVD at home and yet they do not necessarily watch movies for long periods, "he is out.
In the heyday room owners were programming often discounted sessions for youngsters. Prem had these sessions then "Opera House was programming sessions that began very early morning at 9 o'clock. Program, there could be three films Dara Singh! All for 50 cents! Missing several scenes in movies. They were dreadfully chopped, but we saw that there's fire!
Rex, Majestic and Luna Park also were programming sessions to 50 under the ticket Sunday morning, but it was for Western movies, for example westerns or musicals. I remember well seeing 'Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid at Luna Park and movies with Elvis Presley and Dean Martin at the Majestic. '
In addition to the large Indian productions with big stars, there are also several small films that strike the imagination of the public and are a great commercial success. Include, among others 'Jungle Mein Mangle' (Kiran Kumar), 'Victoria 203' (Navin Nischol) and 'Raaton Ka Raja' (Dheeraj Kumar).
This golden age lasted until the late 70s. The video has appeared and killed almost home cinema. However, the rooms are very well attended in India, the United States and Europe.
The talkies in Mauritius
Speaking cinema was opened in Mauritius February 19, 1932 at Pathé Palace Street Leclézio, Curepipe. He then on his way to the Cinema Hall Rose Hill, Cinema and Families at Luna Park in Port Louis. It was obviously something fantastic for the public.
The three major cinema companies of the time were Cinemas Allied Companies (ACC), Consortium Ltd (LC) and the company Rawat. ACC operated his films at the Majestic in Port Louis, Rose Hill Plaza and Pathé Palace. LC films playing at the Rex in Port Louis, Royal Rose Hill and at the Ritz in Curepipe. The company owned Rawat meanwhile Film Families in Port-Louis, Cinema Hall in Rose-Hill, Roxy Beau Bassin and Novelty Curepipe. Novelty alone is still in operation today.
Go to the movies for Eid
In India, it is a tradition that has lasted for decades: go to the movies with the family on the occasion of the festival Eid. This tradition was imported in Mauritius. Bye Kalee, who was a young passionate moviegoer in the 1950s, tells us his memories.
"At the time, we celebrated Eid with much pomp. The celebrations were much more colorful, there reigned a wonderful atmosphere. Frequent moviegoers, we looked forward to the release of new films scheduled for Eid. The campaign began at least two months in advance.
Posters were pasted everywhere, there were large banners announcing the release of the film. The posters were pasted near mosques after prayers, it fell on them. This attracted moviegoers, "says he.
"I remember in 1949, Luna Park (now razed room) programming for Eid 'Nek Parveen' (1946) Ragini with SM Yusuf, Ullhas, Yakud; Firoze Nizami music, while Majestic proposed 'Anokhi Ada 'Mehboob Khan with Surendra, music Naushad, "he adds.
The following year, operating Luna Park 'Sting' - film AR Kardar Munawar Sultana with, and ShyamKumar Suraiya, signed with music Naushad, released three years earlier in India or in 1947. Majestic proposed 'Aag', the first film directed by and starring Raj Kapoor himself and Nargis, signed with music Shankar-Jaikishen and 'Raakhee' (1949) Shanti Kumar Kaushal with Kamina, Karan Dewan and Pran.
The memories of our cinematic regarding the outputs for Eid festival then go to 1954. That year, Luna Park proposed 'Daag' (1952), Chakravarty Amiya with Dilip Kumar, Nimmi and Usha Kiran. In 1956, 'Nagin' (1955) IS Johar, with Vaijantimala and Pradeep Kumar, Hemant Kumar music, made his exit at Luna Park. The Majestic was programmed 'Hatimthai' (1955) Homi Wadia in with Jairaj and Shakila, music SN Tripathi.
In 1959, Howra Bridge '(1958), Shakti Samanta with Madhubala and Ashok Kumar, with music signed OP Nayyar made his exit at Luna Park. Rex programming 'Halakoo' (1956), DD Kashyap Ajit, Meena Kumari, Pran and Helen, music by Shankar Jaikishan while the proposed Majestic 'Anari' (1958), Hrishikesh Mukherjee, with Raj Kapoor, Nutan and Motilal, Music Shankar-Jaikishan Hasrat Jaipuri and.
For Eid 1961, 'Chhalia' (1960) Manmohan Desai, with Raj Kapoor, Nutan, Pran, Kalyanji-Anandji music, made his exit at Luna Park. Rex programming 'Kohinoor' (1959) with Dilip Kumar, Meena Kumari and Jeevan, Music Naushad.
The following year, Rex offered 'Hum Hindustani' (1960) Ram Mukherjee, with Sunil Dutt, Asha Parekh, Joy Mukherjee, Usha Khanna music.
Luna Park and Majestic monopolized attention with their films, says our interlocutor. The rooms were always full to overflowing. The 'crowd-pullers' of the time were Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand and Shammi Kapoor. The welcome 'Jaanwaar', for example, is memorable.