100 Years Of Indian Cinema: A Look At Mumbai’s Film Studios Through The Years

{2 Comments}

0
The iconic Devdas set at Film City. Image by filmcitymumbai.org

Mumbai and Bollywood have always been synonymous. The city of dreams is the birth place of several iconic films and home to the stardom, glamour and fame of many. In the 100th year of Indian Cinema how can we forget the locations that bring stories to life. This is where the famous film studios of Mumbai come into play. These studios get transformed in the blink of an eye and have served as a backdrop for many a film. From a modern city to a Mughal palace, film studios facilitate the creation of a dream world without actually going there.

Mumbai boasts of several film studios, most of which have been founded by celebrated filmmakers. And modern and technically advanced film studios are being added to the list. In the 100th year of Indian Cinema, let’s take you on a journey through film studios in Mumbai.

Filmistan studio. Image by filmistan.com.
Filmistan studio. Image by filmistan.com.

Filmistan – One of the oldest film studios, Filmistan was set up by stalwarts like Ashok Kumar and producer Shashadhar Mukherjee in 1943-44. Located in Goregaon, Filmistan has 14 stages, a hospital, jail and police station, all inside the studio. It was here that Amitabh Bachchan started his career. This is also the studio where Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai shot their first movie together. They returned to the same studio, 11 years later, as man and wife to shoot an ad film. Tweeting on the occasion, Abhishek had said, “It was here on the very same floor 11 years ago that we gave our first ever shot together. Then, I would have never dreamt that the next time we shoot here would be as husband and wife. How time flies, how lives change.” Blockbusters like Shaheed, Zanjeer, Kalia to films like Black, Om Shanti Om and Ra.One alongwith TV shows like Indian Idol and Nach Baliye have been shot here.

Famous Studio. Image by ndtv.com
Famous Studio. Image by ndtv.com

Famous Studio – Started in 1946, Famous Studios is situated at Mahalaxmi. Shiraz Ali Hakim was the founder of Famous Studio but he had to leave soon after India’s partition. It is then that Mr. Roongta who had financed the building of the studios took over and has since owned it. Famous has witnessed the making of numerous legendary films like Taj Mahal, Seeta aur Geeta, Kanyadaan, Hum Saath Saath Hain and the list goes on. Initially set up only for film shoots, Famous Studios now has a preview theater and 9 shooting floors where TV shows and other events are regularly shot. It also offers cinematographic equipment on a rental basis, sound recording and state of the art post-production facilities.

R.K. Films Studio. Image by Touristlink.com
R.K. Films Studio. Image by Touristlink.com

R.K.Film Studio – The maestro of Hindi cinema, Raj Kapoor established the R. K. Film Studio in 1950. He was quoted saying, “Once when I was shooting for Awara, I had completed 13 days of shooting when on the 14th day I was asked to dismantle my sets because the studio had been hired to someone else. I was very upset and that day I decided to make my own studio. I put together all the money I had and laid the foundation of RK Studio.” Evergreen movies like Awara, Shri 420, Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hain, Mera Naam Joker and many others were created here. The studio is also known to host grand gatherings during Holi and Ganesh Chaturthi which the Kapoors continue to follow as tradition. Till date the studio has preserved some of the oldest and most memorable props from RK’s early films.

Mehboob Studio. Image by inbandradotin.com
Mehboob Studio. Image by inbandradotin.com

Mehboob Studio – Filmmaker Mehboob Khan set up Mehboob Studio in Bandra, in 1954. The sprawling studio is spread over 20,000 square yards and has a recording studio. The studio has provided an important setting in memorable films like Mother India, Kaagaz Ke Phool, Guide and the many other hits.  It was a favorite shooting location of yesteryear actors like Guru Dutt and Dev Anand and continues to be preferred amongst the film fraternity even today. Dev Anand’s memorial service was performed at the Mehboob Studio as the actor had spent most of his professional life there. The celebrated actor’s personal make up room at the studio is kept as is in his memory. Big B also has special memories attached to this studio. “My first meeting with Sunil Dutt saheb, when I came for a screen test in 1968 through the courtesy of Nargisji, in the dubbing theater, where he was dubbing for ‘Padosan’,” he recently wrote on his blog. Reinventing its flavor, Mehboob studio now also hosts cultural events like the exhibition of sculptor Anish Kapoor in 2010 and the Mahindra Blues Festival from 2011.

A set at Kamalistan Studio. Image by bandoweb.com
A set at Kamalistan Studio. Image by bandoweb.com

Kamalistan/Kamal Amrohi StudioKamalistan is where classics like Mughal – E – Azam, Pakeezah, Amar Akbar Anthony and others were born. Eminent filmmaker, Kamal Amrohi founded the studio in 1958. Located in Andheri, it is one of the largest studios in Mumbai. Manmohan Desai and Subhash Ghai considered the studio lucky and shot most of their films here. Very recently, Salman Khan booked the entire studio for the shoot of Dabangg 2. This was for the first time in the history of Bollywood, that an entire studio was rented exclusively for a film. In 2010, Kamalistan Studios was sold by the Amrohi family to three builders.

The iconic Devdas set at Film City. Image by filmcitymumbai.org
The iconic Devdas set at Film City. Image by filmcitymumbai.org

Film City – Film City, true to its name, transports you into the world of films the moment you visit the 500+ acre area. Situated in Goregaon, it was the persuasion of veterans like V. Shantaram, B.R Chopra and Dilip Kumar that the Maharashtra Film, Stage & Cultural Development Corporation Ltd. alias Film City was established in 1977 by the Government of Maharashtra. Maximum number of film and TV shoots take place here and the studio has served as backdrop for movies like Lawaaris, Karz, Chandni, DDLJ, 3 Idiots, Krissh etc. It was renamed as Dadasaheb Phalke Chitranagari in 2001 in memory of the father of the Indian film industry. With over 16 studios and 42 outdoor shooting locations including gardens, lakes, a temple and more, it serves as the ideal spot for several films.

YRF Studio. Image by YRF Studios.com
YRF Studio. Image by YRF Studios.com

Yash Raj Studios – Built in 2006 by the veteran filmmaker, Yash Chopra, YRF studios is the only completely soundproof and air conditioned studio in the country. Designed by prominent studio designer Mr. Martin Pilchner, it houses some of the most advanced post production facilities. Fanaa was the first film shot in YRF Studios which has then seen the creation of memorable films like Rab Ne Bana di Jodi, Band Baaja Baraat, Ishaqzaade, Ek Tha Tiger and so on. Several film screenings for the fraternity are also held in the studio located at Andheri. A grand premiere for Yash Chopra’s last directorial venture, Jab Tak Hai Jaan was also held at the studios.

Studios will always be an integral part of Bollywood. Though several olden studios are rumored to turn into commercial complexes, only time can tell their fate. However their disappearance would be a huge loss to the film industry.

Have you ever visited a film studio? Tell us your experience. Write to us at [email protected] or comment below.

Post By Esha Verma (33 Posts)

Writing is a passion I discovered a little late. But better late than never. When not penning my thoughts, you'll find me sniffing around for good food - trying out every new restaurant in town is a hobby. I swear by Hindi films and when doing nothing of the above you'll find me troubling my pet pooch.

Connect

Esha Verma

Esha Verma
Writing is a passion I discovered a little late. But better late than never. When not penning my thoughts, you'll find me sniffing around for good food - trying out every new restaurant in town is a hobby. I swear by Hindi films and when doing nothing of the above you'll find me troubling my pet pooch.
  • vikas garg kkc

    Sar I am Vikas Garg Kkc
    Live in Punjab
    City barnala
    I am comming for mumbai

  • Priyanka Rana

    NICE MUMBAI ALL STUDIO