MUMBAI: The powerloom city of Bhiwandi, a satellite township near Mumbai, appears to be obsessed with Bhojpuri films, if recent film statistics are to be believed.
There are 13 cinema halls in Bhiwandi, over 70 per cent of which regularly screen Bhojpuri films.
Technically located in Thane district, and situated 60 kms to the north-east of Mumbai, Bhiwandi is considered to be a part of the Greater Bombay agglomeration along with Navi Mumbai and Kalyan, Thane, Ulhasnagar, Dombivli, Mira Bhayandar and the Vasai-Virar region. The Mumbai-Agra highway passes through Bhiwandi and ensures smooth connectivity with Mumbai, Thane, Nashik and rest of India.
A.R. Enterprises’ representative Ansari, who does film bookings for cinemas in Bhiwandi says, “Bhiwandi has a sizeable population from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Several migrant labourers have found employment in this city, that’s known for its textile industries, and is in fact, referred to as the Manchester of India. Bhiwandi also has godowns belonging to several industries and is the transit point for goods transporters.”
According to Ansari, “Bhiwandi has 14 cinemas, eight of which are screening mostly Bhojpuri films. Ratan, which accommodates 1,225 people and has a capacity of registering Rs 5,52,476.40 collection in 28 shows is screening Hamra Se Byaah Kar Ba. In Apsara, which seats 1,083 and has a capacity of Rs 5,03,223, Nautanki is being shown. In Jhankar, with a seating of 1,016 and a capacity of Rs 2,02,354.60, Driver Babu is being screened. Nazrana has a seating capacity of 1,053 and is showing Dulha Babu. Payal, seating 1,167 persons and with a weekly capacity of Rs 2,31,641.20 is showing Kasam Dharti Maiya Ki. Bharat has a capacity to seat 807 persons per show, with weekly collections of Rs 1,78, 225.60 and is showing Didi Tor Dewar Deewana. Heena (Katai) is showing Ganga Jaisi Maa Hamaar. Navrang (Shelar) is also screening a Bhojpuri movie.”