Hyderabad: It is curtains down at the Shama theatre, popularly known as Shama Talkies, located in the densely populated area of Jahanuma of the Old City. As the crescent of Ramzan is sighted, the three-decade-old theatre suspends screening of movies throughout the holy month.
The environs around the theatre turn pious, with several stalls, selling anything from eatables to dates and clothes, taking over. The practice of suspending the screening has been in vogue uninterrupted for the last 19 years and strictly followed, more as a tradition.
“The localities around the theatre are inhabited by the Muslim community and as a mark of respect to the holy month we suspend the screening. The revenue loss is insignificant for us when compared to the rewards we believe we will get for our pious act,” said AIMIM legislator Jaffer Hussain Meraj. His two sons own and manage the theatre. In fact, it is the only theatre in the entire Old City.
There are about 22 persons working full time in the theatre. “All those working in the theatre get a month-long holiday, only security personnel and sweepers attend work. All the employees are paid the salaries for the month along with Ramzan bonus to help them celebrate Id,” said Mr Meraj.
The single screen theatre is one of the few recreational places for people in this part of the city and has managed to withstand the changing times.
The first movie screened here in the early 1980s was the hit film Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai produced and directed by Nasir Hussain and starring Rishi Kapoor, Padmini Kolhapure and Amjad Khan. Later Nikaah, Dilwale and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge were screened for 100 days at the theatre.
When the theatre resumes business from the Id day, one can well imagine the rush....