Liberty Cinema

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Liberty Cinema is an Art Deco 1200 seater single screen Movie theatre in Mumbai, India. Since the cinema was built in 1947, the year of Indian Independence, its founder Habib Hoosein decided to name it "Liberty".[1] Liberty screens Bollywood Hindi movies.[2] David Vinnels and Brent Skelly describe Liberty Cinema as "an exquisite jewel box of rococo decoration enhanced by a coloured lighting scheme suggesting a fairyland far away from the bustle and tumult in the streets outside" in their book Bollywood Showplaces: Cinema Theatres in India.[3] On the fifth floor of the Liberty Cinema building there is a small 30 seater hall, Liberty Mini. Decorated with art from the pre-independence period, it is used for press previews and private screenings.[4] Liberty has been the location of movie premiers of several movies, such as Mughal-e-Azam (a 1960 blockbuster Bollywood movie).[5]

Several iconic movies have premiered and run for a long time at Liberty Cinema. Mother India, a Bollywood film ran for a whole year starting October 1957 at Liberty.[6] Almost three decades later, one of Bollywood’s most successful movies Hum Aapke Hain Kaun[7] ran for 105 weeks in regular shows and 16 weeks in the matinee show in total from 1994 onwards at Liberty (completing its 100th week on the run in August 1996[8]). In total the film ran for 2341 shows in 847 days from its first run.[9] To celebrate this, noted painter M F Husain put up a canvas from his series celebrating the Woman as 'Shakti' at the foyer of Liberty Cinema. This piece of art was based on the lead actress of the movie, Madhuri Dixit.[10]

With the entry of multiplex theatres in Mumbai which have been given tax breaks, single screen theatres like Liberty are finding it hard to do business. The current owner, Nazir Hoosein (son of the founder) has rented out part of the Liberty Cinema building for office use to supplement his income.[1]


  1. ^ a b "The math doesn't add up for Mumbai's Art Deco cinemas". Hindustan Times. 19 May 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
  2. ^ Hazarika, Sanjoy (5 February 1989). "WHAT'S DOING IN: Bombay". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
  3. ^ Brent Skelly, David Vinnels (2002). Bollywood showplaces: cinema theatres in India. E & E Plumridge. p. 287.Page 56
  4. ^ "For old cinema owners, an all-new screen test". Daily News and Analysis. 8 October 2005. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
  5. ^ Banymandhub, Chrishna Kaneti (2007). The ubiquitous royal. Regent Press. p. 191. ISBN 99903-969-6-5.Page 79
  6. ^ Mishra, Vijay (2002). Bollywood cinema: temples of desire. Routledge. p. 296. ISBN 0-415-93015-4.Page 65
  7. ^ "All Time Earners Inflation Adjusted". Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
  8. ^ Uberoi, Patricia (2006). Freedom and destiny: gender, family, and popular culture in India. Oxford University Press. p. 309. ISBN 0-19-567991-1.Page 171
  9. ^ Brij Maharaj, Dave Sangha, Parvati Raghuram, Ajaya Kumar Sahoo (2008). Tracing an Indian diaspora: contexts, memories, representations. SAGE Publications India. p. 467. ISBN 81-7829-833-3.Page 363
  10. ^ Shaina Nath, Maqbul Fida Husain, Anil Relia (2000). The genesis of Gaja Gamini. H2A Graphic International. p. 184.Page 179