Jahanara Kajjan at Madan Theatres

The Hindu Times from 24th December carries a fascinating article on the career of Jahanara Kajjan, a singer and actor who was active in the 1930s. Pran Neville writes: “As a young lad in Lahore, I dimly remember, seeing her in Madan Theatres’ “Laila Majnu” (1931). I recall its roaring publicity through splash of posters and… Continue reading Jahanara Kajjan at Madan Theatres

India’s first talkie presentation – Melody of Love

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

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… Continue reading India’s first talkie presentation – Melody of Love

Mapping the Theatres

There is only very limited information on the locations of J F Madan’s cinemas, theatres, sound stages and other sites. The map below shows some of the sites where the theatres once stood in Kolkata, several are still standing.

“Madan Theatre by Night” by Gaganendranath Tagore

"Madan Theatre by Night" by Gaganendranath Tagore. Held at National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi. Image Courtesy: NGMA

This beautiful painting is held at National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi. It depicts one of Madan’s theatres at night in Delhi. We would love to know more about the painting, when it was drawn and which theatre or cinema it features. Please contact us if you have any information.


This website is still under construction but the aim is to establish a useful resource for people looking to find out more about J F Madan and his work in film, theatre and business. The site is maintained by relatives of J F Madan. Under “resources” you will find links to relevant books, articles and historical documents that… Continue reading Welcome!