Maratha temple is the pride of cinema for 64 years, sex workers-transgenders get this special facility here

It is said that only three things sold in India are cricket, crime and cinema. For the last one hundred and fifty years, the magic of Bollywood is speaking in the minds of the people. There are some movies on the minds of people which have been engraved on many generations. One such film is ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’, which is still fresh in the minds of people after its release in 1995. Mumbai’s iconic theater ‘Maratha Mandir’ has a big hand in keeping this film alive among the people even today. Maratha Mandir Released on October 20, 1995, this film has been running for more than 26 years till date. Come, know about the golden history of Maratha temple and what is the reason that DDLJ is still running these talkies.

Maratha temple has been special for Bollywood
The identity of Mumbai and the most magnificent Maratha temple of that era was opened to the public on 16 October 1958. At that time 1000 people could sit in this cinema hall which is a huge number. In the 1960s and 70s, big Bollywood films were released in the Maratha temple itself. It was believed that the film which premiered in the Maratha temple was sure to be a super hit. People from all walks of life have been watching the movie in this theater as the ticket rates have always been kept very low in this theater. Once upon a time, the Maratha temple had become a favorite dating spot for the youth. The Maratha temple has become a landmark for Mumbai and the street in which it is located has also been named Maratha Mandir Marg.

Why is DDLJ running continuously for 26 years?
The superhit film ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in the Maratha temple has been running for more than 26 years. This in itself is a huge record. Why was this famous film of Raj and Simran’s love story played for so long? In response to this, Manoj Desai, executive director of Maratha Mandir, said in an interview, “Immediately after the release of the film, we had decided that it would be run for a long time. Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol were fresh faces and Aditya Chopra was also a new director. It was also possible to do this because firstly it was a superhit film and secondly its music is still popular today. The film was flawless and had the story of a cute couple and exotic locales. So it was a perfect film to run for a long time.

An old picture of a Maratha temple (Credits: Social Media)

very low ticket rates
Although tickets for cinemas used to be very cheap in the 1990s, but the Maratha temple especially kept its tickets very cheap. At that time the Maratha temple used to have tickets for 8, 10 and 12 rupees. This rate was so low that even today no waiter will take a tip. That is why people also used to enjoy the film by sitting comfortably in the balcony. This was the reason that the Maratha temple became the favorite dating spot of the youth. Many couples who came here on a date later tied the knot. Manoj Desai says that he himself knows many such couples who have come to Maratha temple to see DDLJ on dates, then after engagement, after marriage and after honeymoon. People’s craze is such that even today the show of DDLJ remains full up to 70 percent on holidays while it remains housefull on weekends and holidays.

The source of entertainment for sex workers of Kamathipura
It happens many times that the entire show of DDLJ in the Maratha temple is attended by the prostitutes of Kamathipura, located near the red light area. Regarding this, Manoj Desai said, ‘His life is very difficult. She does her work at night, so she often comes here during the day for her entertainment. I am used to seeing who is coming to see the film. My manager told that they are sex workers and said that Maratha temple is their only source of entertainment after the bad conditions of night. She often comes to me and greets me. That’s why we have made this rule that sex workers and transgenders never have to stand in line in Maratha temple.

People were furious over the removal of DDLJ
DDLJ is going on in Maratha temple for a long time. Desai says that as long as the film continues to get audiences, he will keep running it in theatres. Desai also narrated an incident when people were furious over the removal of DDLJ. He said, ‘A few years ago I said that this is the last week of DDLJ in the Maratha temple. Then a herd of about 40-50 people reached the theater against this decision. When I talked to them, they said what is the problem with me when they are coming to the theater to watch the film? After this I had to say that we will not remove DDLJ on public demand.