Cinema rules Mumbai, home to the Indian film industry known as Bollywood. There are many modern cinema halls and multiplexes, though you might want to catch a movie at an old-style Indian cinema hall, like Maratha Mandir in Mumbai Central. During your stay in Mumbai, you should also try to arrange for someone to take you to see the shooting of a Hindi film. You can tour a film studio and if you are lucky, may have the opportunity to pose as an “exotic” extra in a Hindi Film. Join the Facebook group Bombay Expats – every now and then a message is sent out from the group looking for foreign extras.
Marg Nagpada, Central Mumbai
Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Appollo Bunder
Hollywood blockbusters can be seen at the major multiplexes (listed above) almost as soon as they are released in the West. However, most movies are cut by the Indian Censor Board before they are cleared for Indian audiences, eliminating risqué scenes and what they consider to be inappropriate language.
Popular Hollywood movies are mostly shown in English, although, sometimes they are dubbed over with Hindi. If the title displayed is still in English, it is an English film. But if the title has changed, then it will be in Hindi. For example, the Hindi version of Slumdog Millionaire was screened all over Mumbai as “Slumdog Crorepati.”
Movie halls in Mumbai often go “House Full,” so it is good idea to pre-book tickets, especially if a long commute is involved. You can book online at:
You will find plenty of opportunities for DVD purchases and rentals at very low prices. Rentals can be as low as $0.50 per day. Ask for the local “DVD library” when you move into a new area and someone will suggest a local shop that runs a library-like lending operation.
You could also sign up for online a DVD rental service offering yearly memberships and monthly packages. Registering with an online DVD rental service means you can select a “wish list” of DVDs you’d like to see from the company’s website. When you request delivery, the movies will begin coming to your home address in order of availability. Your first movie can come as soon as one day after you’ve made a request. Payment is through credit and debit cards.
Some of the online DVD rental companies operational in Mumbai are:
CD shops and bookstores are often the best places to find DVDs on sale. Try out one of the following shops:
- Shoppers Stop
- Landmark Book Shop, Andheri West
- Rhythm House, Fort
- Music Cafe 36 Chandani, 23 A, Pali Road, 400050 Bandra West. Phone: 022-641-8952
Theatre and Cultural Events
Mumbai has a growing theatre scene, including some plays in English. Most performances would be considered amateur theatre, but it might worth going to see Mumbai’s longest running play – Pygmalion, which is performed in the Gujarati language.
The most famous theatre in Mumbai is Prithvi Theatre in Juhu. It has an open-air café that is a warm, inviting space, making it a relaxed hangout in the bustling city of Mumbai. Tickets are inexpensive at Rs. 100 – 200 for a play. For some plays you might be able to purchase tickets online up to the day before the performance. See Prithvi’s website at http://www.prithvitheatre.org for schedules (sold out times appear in red) and to buy tickets.
If you are a keen on cultural events, become a member of National Centre for Performing Arts. This complex of five theatres offers a variety of plays, musicals and dance. Visit http://www.ncpamumbai.com. Tickets are about Rs. 200 – Rs. 400 per person. On the NCPA website, you can view calendars of schedules with sold out slots appearing in red. The site redirects buyers to http://www.bookmyshow.com for ticket purchase.
Nehru Centre Auditorium in Worli is part of a modern complex that includes art galleries, exhibition halls and a Planetarium. It stages theatre, dance and music performances, and educational workshops. The auditorium is rented out to individuals and companies for shows; therefore the pricing of tickets and advance booking procedures vary. The Planetarium has a set schedule, however. Tickets are very inexpensive at Rs. 10 – Rs. 50. Shows are in Marahti, Hindi, and English. Planetarium tickets can be booked up to one week in advance by calling 22-2492-0510. See http://www.nehru-centre.org/planetarium.html.
Time Out Mumbai provides listings of art exhibitions and drama performances.