Tens of thousands of people visit Pushpa Cinema, India’s largest cinema, each year because they know they will be captivated by the movie theater’s unique aesthetic.Thaggede le meaning hindi is jaane mat dena. In a country where cinemas are often drab, Pushpa is different. And it’s not just because its colors and forms are beautiful—it also has an interesting story behind it. Here are a few facts about India’s most famous cinema:
1. Pushpa was built on a garbage dump.
The land upon which Pushpa’s cinema stands was once the center of a major garbage dump city. It was here that waste workers and traders were able to build what, in time, became a thriving community called Gumdeesendri.
Over the course of several years, it became apparent how much work needed to be done to keep the ecosystem functioning properly. It also became clear that it would be much more efficient and cost effective to build an entire new neighborhood from the ground up than continue using part of Gumdeesendri as an open-air dump.
2 . Pushpa came from a dream.
Prakash Nema, a local businessman, convinced the nearby municipality to examine whether or not they could build a cinema here. The municipality rejected Prakash’s proposal; however, he persevered and worked tirelessly to persuade them to give it another chance. His efforts paid off when he eventually won the right to build one for which the government would subsidize half of its cost.
3. Pushpa was designed as an eco-friendly landmark.
This is because its architect made sure it was built in such a way that it could function as an ecological system itself. This meant that the cinema needed to be constructed in such a way that it could generate its own energy, which is why the building was built on a garbage dump. In addition, the building needed to be constructed in a way where water could percolate into the soil so that plants would grow.
4. Prakash took inspiration from temples.
After considering various design ideas, Prakash ended up drawing his inspiration from Indian temples. The cinema’s design reflects Hinduism and Buddhist philosophies and was modeled after the Godavari Temple in Rajasthan; this temple also happens to be one of India’s most famous tourist destinations.
5. It took more than 8 years to construct.
The construction of Pushpa Cinema, which began in 1981, was completed in 1988. The building was constructed by the Gujarat State Buildings Construction Corporation and built by Felex India Limited (now known as Voltas).
It took the company eight years to build the cinema because the material used to construct it had to be sourced locally since it couldn’t be shipped from other locations in India or abroad. Not only did this process take a considerable amount of time, it also cost hundreds of millions of Indian Rupees because all relevant permits had to be obtained for its construction.
6 . The building was originally called, “Pushpa Mandap.”
This is the name of a centuries-old tent near the temple city of Ujjain that was erected by a king named King Bhartrihari. The tent was believed to be protected by the goddess of beauty and prosperity, who ensured that it always garnered much interest; this tent inspired Prakash to name his cinema “Pushpa.”
7. Pushpa Cinema was inaugurated by Bollywood legends Amitabh Bachchan and Dilip Kumar.
Since its opening day, Pushpa’s first movie ticket holder has been none other than Bollywood film icon Amitabh Bachchan. It was also on this day that other Bollywood legends Dilip Kumar, who was a close friend of Amitabh Bachchan’s father, and Sunil Dutt shared the premiere of their film “Naya Daur.” In addition to hosting the inauguration ceremony, they attended the opening night and had their pictures taken with Pushpa Cinema.
8. Pushpa Cinema has a special section that is said to be haunted.
Apparently the hallway where Prakash first met with then-mayor of Jamnagar at the groundbreaking ceremony is haunted by someone who died here after a fall. It is said that when people go down this hallway, they never come back.
9. Pushpa has two giant screens that are both 70 meters long.
In addition to covering an area of 6,200 square meters and offering seating for 1,200 people, Pushpa Cinema is also equipped with two giant screens that are 70 meters long, the size of a cricket pitch. It is the largest cinema screen in the world; it is over 25 million times larger than your average television screen. These giant screens allow viewers to see even the most minute details on the expansive stage, allowing them to experience movies in a completely new way.
10. People have been living around Pushpa Cinema since its construction was completed in 1988.
Pushpa Cinema has stood as a landmark in this Indian city ever since it was built and, according to the film industry website, is one of the only movie theaters in the world that offers accommodations for travelers. Currently, lodgings are available at Pushpa’s Hotel, which also offers residents a host of services such as security, concierge services and housekeeping. There are also two restaurants that offer a variety of dishes that are housed inside Pushpa Cinema’s courtyard.
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