Metro Big Cinema

Mahatma Gandhi Road, Dhobitalao Junction,
Mumbai 400002

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Located in the Dhobitalao Junction district, south of downtown Bombay (now Mumbai). The Metro Cinema opened on 8th June 1938. It was built for Metro Goldwyn Mayer and was designed by noted American theatre architect Thomas W. Lamb, with assistance from local Bombay architect David William Ditchburn, a senior partner in the architectural firm Ditchburn, Mistry & Bhedwar.

Seating was provided for 1,491 in orchestra and balcony levels, amid Art Deco style splendour. For many years, the Metro Cinema was the premiere cinema of Bombay, and of course played mainly MGM films.

In later years it began screening Bollywood films and was closed in 2005.

It came under new ownership and the facade & foyers were renovated to their 1930’s splendour. The auditorium was sub-divided into six large luxury screens and re-opened in 2006 as the Metro Adlabs Cinema. From 28th October 2008, it was re-branded Metro Big Cinema, together with all the cinemas in the Adlabs group.

Films are screened in their original languages and programming consists of first run Western films plus Indian Bollywood films.

Contributed by Ross Melnick, Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 20, 2005 at 1:04 pm

Built and planned by MGM as a showcase for their films in Bombay, the Metro Cinema opened in March 1938 with a Premier presentation of “Braodway Melody 1938” starring Eleanor Powell and George Murphy.

The New York based, Scottish born architect Thomas White Lamb teamed up with another Scottish architect David William Ditchburn to create an American style movie palace in a stunning Art Deco style. Thomas Lamb of course was well known in America for designing hundreds of cinema theatres.

The Metro remained in the control of MGM until the late-1970’s when it was sold to a local operator.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 20, 2005 at 1:55 pm

Thanks lostmemory; I have sent in updates to the headers on this one, and yes, it is still open.

irishcine
irishcine on June 11, 2006 at 3:57 am

Very extensive rebuilding is underway at the Metro and it is closed at present.

It would seem that the building is being completely renovated, back to the bare walls, with what looks like a new and changed roof, presumably to provide some more space for multiplex use but no information was available on the site hoardings as to the future design.

irishcine
irishcine on September 4, 2006 at 6:04 pm

Phot of the Metro Cinema Mumbai taken earlier this year while building works were going on at

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irishcine
irishcine on October 4, 2006 at 4:52 pm

According to a recent press release the Metro is now the `Metro Adlabs' following reconstruction by by Mumbai-based Atul Desai & Associates.

It is now a six-screen multiplex, with five standard-sized cinemas with an average capacity of 290 seats each. It also has a mini-theatre of 30 seats, called the `Ebony Lounge'. The latter has recliner seats, leather panelling and wooden flooring. The building has street-level shops, six floors of offices, restaurants and a parking lot next to the cinema.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on October 13, 2007 at 6:00 pm

The 1963 IMPA notes the MGM operation in India:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Ltd.
W.T. Wilson, Manager
P.O. Box 837
Metro House
Mahatma Gandhi Road
Bombay

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on January 23, 2009 at 1:00 am

Footage of the “Slumdog Millionaire” cast & director at the BIG Cinema in Mumbai, was featured on TV’s “Access Hollywood” this evening. The footage was used as background for today’s Academy Award nominations for the film.
It also appeared the nominations were watched live by the above at the theater.

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