Pradeep Pattanayak

At a time when the Odia film industry completed 88 years today, the demand for a film hall in Puri city grew louder. 

Puri City is an inseparable part of the journey of the Odia film industry thus far. For the uninitiated, the first Odia film is ‘Sita Bibaha’. It was released on April 28, 1936. And, the film hall where the film was premiered was Laxmi Talkies in Puri. 

The film, based on the marriage ceremony of Lord Ram and Sita from the epic Ramayan, was directed by Mohan Sundar Deb Goswami. Actors like Makhanlal Bannerjee, Krishnachandra Singh, Prabhavati and Mohan Sundar Deb Goswami were featured in the film. 

At the very mention of the first Odia film, the name of Puri city comes to mind because of the film hall ‘Laxmi Talkies’.

But with the passage of time, this oldest film hall has been reduced to a mere dilapidated relic. Cyclone Fani which battered Odisha in 2019 caused extensive damage to this film hall as well. Since then, nothing has been done to resurrect this historical film hall. As of now, Puri City is devoid of a film hall. 

Puri residents have demanded a film hall in the pilgrim city. Locals suggested that a film hall can be constructed at Annapurna Theatre.

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