Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 February 2020

Dubai loses a piece of history as Golden Cinema prepares to close; Uttama Villain is theatre’s last film

Lead actor Kamal Haasan, one of South Indian cinema’s biggest celebrities, will walk the red carpet.
Golden Cinema in Bur Dubai is closing its doors on May 2. Courtesy Delphine Mroue / Golden Cinema
Golden Cinema in Bur Dubai is closing its doors on May 2. Courtesy Delphine Mroue / Golden Cinema

On Saturday, May 2, the last independent Indian theatre in Dubai will roll the credits for the final time in 43 years.

But Golden Cinema is going out in style. The long-standing landmark will host the world premiere of the Tamil comedy-drama Uttama Villain at 10.30pm on Thursday, April 30. Lead actor Kamal Haasan, one of South Indian cinema’s biggest celebrities, will walk the red carpet.

The 1,500-seat theatre, which is located opposite Al Ghubaiba metro station in Bur Dubai, opened in 1972 and “is the only one in the Middle East with a balcony”, according to general manager Hassan A Kannu. Over the years it has screened the biggest films in Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam cinema, regularly attracting Thursday-night world premieres ahead of the usual Friday-night opening in India.

In 2013, it hosted a free screening of the Tamil film Aarambam, which was partly shot in Dubai, for 1,500 labourers from the ETA Group in conjunction with the Dubai International Film Festival.

Delphine Garde-Mroueh, Diff’s head of programme administration, says the theatre will be sadly missed.

“There really isn’t anywhere else to hold those huge screenings for labourers anymore,” said Garde-Mroueh. “There’s a new cinema being built nearby, but the biggest screen will only seat around 200 people, so we really are losing a piece of history.”

cnewbould@thenational.ae

Updated: April 30, 2015 04:00 AM

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