Minerva cinema sold for Rs. 300 million

Mumbai: After many years of planning, Neville Tuli of Osian’s Connoisseurs of Art has bought Minerva cinema for Rs. 300 million from Eagle Theatres. The deal was inked on July 7. Considered as one of the Bombay’s landmark, it will be renamed as Osianama. According to a spokesman for Tuli, “The idea is to build India’s first museum-archive for cinema and the arts.” It is said that the Minerva’s old look will be retained but will be equipped with modern digital technology. It will host the best of the post-production facilities too.

The resource centre-cum-museum, Osianama aims at presenting great cinemas from Asia and the rest of the world with a focus on experimental films. Tuli is planning to bring Osian’s Cinefan festival and a host of other programmes. Besides film appreciation workshops, conferences and lectures will be held on a regular basis. Tuli plans to hold auctions for popular and film related arts.

Minerva owned by film-makers F.C. Mehra and sons Rajeev Mehra and Umesh Mehra, was the first theatre to go for 70 mm screen in 1972. It was renovated for G.P. Sippy’s block-buster Sholay which ran at the cinema for five-long years.

Umesh Mehra confirmed the deal. “The ownership has changed hands, but we will run the theatre. We did not screen any movies this weekend and there will be no movie till Thursday, July 13. But on July 14 we will resume screening with Golmaal – Fun Unlimited.”

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