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Kolkata: Elite Cinema Hall, one of the oldest in Kolkata, has downed its curtains for good.

The Mumbai based Modi & Company, which was running the 68-year-old cinema hall located near Kolkata Municipal Corporation in central Kolkata, has shut the hall with effect from 1 June by issuing a notice last week.

Thus, the last movie was screened at Elite on 31 May, and since then, the cinema hall is under lock and key. The owner decided to shut down the cinema hall after counting losses for the past nearly five years.

“Of late this situation came to such a pass that in the month of May, the gross collection was only Rs 30,000. As against this, the electricity bill alone stood at Rs 1.50-lakh. Then there is the salary for the 22 employees and payments that are pending to the movie distributors for the past several months,” said Santu Kumar Batabyal, the last manager of Elite Cinema hall.

Batabyal said that the owner has assured the employees of clearing their dues and also compensate them to some extent but in phases.

Elite cinema hall had started screening movies from 1950 and for years it was the most sought-after destination for cinema lovers in Kolkata. But over the past two decades or so, due to lack of modernisation of the building and the allied infrastructure, the cinema hall was failing to attract the middle class.

With Elite downing its curtains, it joins the list of several old cinema halls in Kolkata that have given away to shopping centres or multiplexers.

The Metro Cinema located at nearby Esplanade was shut down last year and a high-rise commercial cum residential building is presently under-construction there. A few years ago, two other popular cinema halls ~ Globe and Chaplin ~ located at New Market area in central Kolkata, were shut down citing losses.

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