Chennai has played a pivotal role in India’s cinematic journey.
Love for movies: Chennai doesn’t shy away from its love for movies – packed theatres on opening weekends, celebrations during the release of big films, and idolising the stars.
- The first silent film in South India, ‘Keechaka Vadham’, was made in 1916 at the Indian Film Company Studio in Madras. In 1934, the first studio in the South with sound recording, Srinivasa Cinetone, opened.
- In 1938, Newtone Studios was inaugurated. Then came Gemini studios, AVM Studios, and Vijaya Vauhini Studios. Kodambakam became synonymous with movies having 20 studios.
Film hub: Madras, as it was called back then, was the home of the southern film industry, with Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam movies made here too. Several top stars made Madras, specifically T. Nagar, their home.
Steady demise: At its peak, Madras had 85 shooting floors housed in 20 studios. But as the years went along, the ability to dub and capture live sound in different locations meant that the need for studios decreased.