India’s first talkie presentation – Melody of Love

In 1929, Madan Theatres exhibited the first talking picture in India, Universal’s Melody of Love at the Elphinstone Picture Palace in Calcutta. Sadly this is one of the many “lost silent films”, due to the fragility of film reel at the time.

According to Amrit Ganger:

This was the first theatre in the East to be equipped with permanent sound apparatus. Soon after, on February 2 1, the same film was presented at the Excelsior Theatre in Mumbai By the end of 1930, more than 30 out of a total of 370 theatres in the country were technical ready for sound projections of film. 10 J.J.Madan had seen The Jazz Singer in New York. The tremendous public response to the film had convinced him about the unavoidable impact of sound in cinema.

Chaplin Cinema in 2013. Image Courtesy: Biswarup Ganguly (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license)

Chaplin Cinema (formerly Elphinstone Picture Palace) in 2013. Image Courtesy: Biswarup Ganguly (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license)

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