Locations

This is a list of theatres, cinemas and other company offices at one time owned or operated by Madan Theatres or J F Madan’s other firms.

It is a work in progress. The entertainment company (Elphinstone Bioscope/Madan Theatres) is at one point understood to have owned or operated 127 theatres and cinemas while the retail empire (J F Madan) had many sites dotted across northern India.

Please contact us if you have any additions or corrections.

ALLAHABAD

Coral Picture house
Palace Theatre
Pearl Picture Palace

AMRITSAR

Imperial Cinema

BANGALORE

Empire Theatre

BANKIPORE

Elphinstone Bioscope

BASSEIN

Bandoola Cinema

BENARES

Visheswar Theatre

BOMBAY

Crown Cinema
Excelsior Theatre
Empire Theatre
Empress Theatre
Edward Theatre
Royal Opera House (leased)

J F Madan (wholesale depot for Parke Davis & Co)
Location:
York Building, 70 Hornby Road, Fort Bombay

CALCUTTA (KOLKATA)

Head Office (for Madan Theatres Ltd and J F Madan Co)
Location: 5 Dharmatala Street (now Lenin Sarani)
Status: Closed

Cornwallis Theatre (later Sree Cinema)
Location: 138 Cornwallis Street
Status: Closed, now a Citi Mart (2021).
History: The first permanent cinema in Northern Calcutta. The first Bengali feature film was released here in 1919. Bought by P. Ganguly of Kali Films in 1936. From this point it was known as Sree.

Imperial Theatre
Location: Barabaazar
Status:
History: Later Moonlight Cinema

The Electric Theatre (later Regal Theatre)
Location: 4 S.N. Banerjee Street, Calcutta (formerly 4, Corporation Street)
Status: Active
History: Renamed Albion in 1920s and Regal in 1931.

Crown Cinema Hall (later Uttara Cinema)
Location: 138 Bidhan Sarani, Shyambazar, Kolkata, 700004 (formerly 138/1 Cornwallis Street)
Status: Inactive, awaiting possible demolition
History: Started working life around 1925 and known for being the venue for the premiere of Jamai Shashthi the first short Bengali “talkie” (sound) film, in April 1931.

Many Madan Theatres films were released here. The only film produced by Provincial Film Producers was also released here as was a Madan adaptation of Tagore’s Bisarjan, and one of the few surviving feature length silent era films. In 1936, it was bought by P. Ganguly of Kali Films.

Uttara
Crown Cinema Hall (later Uttara), pictured in 2021. Image: Soumya Chakraborty.

Corinthian Theatre
Location:
5 Dharmatala Street (now Lenin Sarani)
Status: Closed, demolished
History: A hugely important site in Parsi theatre and the location for some of the earliest sound recordings made in India (1902). Purchased by J F Madan in the 1890s. Renamed Opera Cinema in 1971.

Elphinstone Picture Palace (later Minerva Cinema and latterly Chaplin Cinema)
Location: 5/1 Chowringhee Place, Kolkata
Status: Demolished in 2013
History: India’s first purpose-built cinema hall, built in 1907. In 1929, it became the first Asian cinema to be equipped with permanent sound facilities. It was subsequently sold off and renamed “Minerva” and then “Chaplin Cinema” before being demolished in 2013.

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

Madan Theatre and Palace of Varieties (later Elite Cinema)
Location: 136 S.N. Banerjee Road, Kolkata
Status: Closed in 2019.

Picture House
Central Theatre
Ripon Theatre
Howrah Cinema
Empress Theatre
Kidderpore Cinema Palace
Alfred Theatre

J F Madan (wine and general merchant)
Location(s):
35, Park Street – 52 Garden Reach Road, Kidderpore – 3, Store Road, Ballygunge – 5 Dharmatala Street (now Lenin Sarani).

CAWNPUR

Elphinstone Picture Palace
Empress Theatre

COLOMBO (SRI LANKA)

Elphinstone Picture Palace
Location:
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Status: 
History: Built in 1926


Empire Theatre (formerly Public Hall)
Location: 51, Braybooke Place, Colombo
Status: Demolished by Ceylon Theatres
History: The first talkie cinema in Sri Lanka. Built in 1899, and leased by Warwick Major, in 1924 the property was bought by Madan Theatres Ltd. On 13th July 1929, it was converted to sound renamed the Empire Theatre. Ceylon Theatres acquired the property in 1939. Thank you to Aruna Gunarathna for providing research for this entry.

Image courtesy of “Robbie” Robinson, ex RAF
Empire Theatre, Colombo, around 1941 (Image courtesy of “Robbie” Robinson)

Clifford Pavilion
Palace Hall

CAWNPUR
Elphinstone Picture Palace
Empress Theatre

DARJEELING
Elphinstone Picture Palace

J F Madan (wine and general merchant)
Location(s):
Piroj Villa, Post Office Road. Chowrasta, The Stores, Central Hotel.

DELHI
Elphinstone Picture Palace

HYDERABAD (Sind)
Royal Opera House

JUDDULPORE
Empire Theatre

KANDY
Empire Theatre

KARACHI
Palace Theatre
Star Cinema

KIRKEE
Excelsior Theatre
Royal Cinema

LAHORE
Elphinstone Theatre
Empire Palladium
Excelsior Theatre

LUCKNOW
Elphinstone Picture Palace

J F Madan (wine and general merchant)
Location:
The Exchange

MANDALAY
Elphinstone Picture Palace

MAYMYE
Elphinstone Bioscope

MYSORE
Royal Opera House

NAGPUR
Elphinstone Bioscope

NAINTAL
Elphinstone Bioscope (Assembly Rooms)

POONA
West End Cinema
Empire Cinema
Apollo Cinema
Globe Cinema

RANGOON
Excelsior Theatre
New Elphinstone Picture Palace
Royal Theatre
Dagon Cinema
The Plaza
Star Cinema

RAWALPINDI
Elphinstone Picture Palace

SIMLA
Elphinstone Palace Theatre
Prince of Wales Theatre

SURAT
Empress Cinema

3 comments

  1. EMPIRE THEATRE COLOMBO NO 1 ,BAYBROOK PLACE COLOMBO . NAME PUBLIC HALL’ IT;S BUILT IN 1899.IN 1912 LEASE BY WARWICK MAJOR AND 1924 THIS PREMISES BUY MADAN. 13TH OF JULY 1929 MADAN CONVERT THE FILM THEATRE AND RENAME EMPIRE.THIS IS THE FIRST TALKIE THEATRE IN SRI LANKA. 1939 THIS THEATRE OWNED BY CEYLON THEATRES

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