First Movie Nepal- While digging into the history of cinema exhibitions in Nepal, Rana reaches the reign of Prime Minister Devshamsher. It is known from the first and third issues of Gorkhapatra that he and his wife were shown to the general public in Tundikhel during their Sindoor Yatra. Padmashamsher, who became prime minister in 2002, had shown some movies to students in his private theater after he came to power.
Mohan Shamsher came to power in 2006, forcing Padmashamsher to go into exile. The statement made by Mohan Shamsher on the occasion of his Sindoor Yatra after taking over the reins of government and the statement given at his birth anniversary a few months later did not mention the establishment of a cinema house. In his time, cinema became a means of public consumption in Nepal. By setting up the ‘Kathmandu Cinema Building’, arrangements were made to sell cinema tickets commercially as they do today. First Movie Nepal.
There is no consensus in the previously published material on the name, date of installation and ownership of this first cinema hall. The then government had set up Kathmandu Cinema Bhawan (Public Service Hall) under the auspices of the municipality and the income would go to the municipality. Inaugurated on 26 December 2006, the first movie to be shown in this hall was Ram Vivah.
The front page news item titled ‘Cinema Inauguration in Kathmandu’ in Gorkhapatra on 27 December further clarifies about the cinema hall:
Kathmandu, March 9: A cinema screening was held at Kathmandu Cinema Building today. Colorful flags hung around the building. On the entrance door was written in red and white letters the glory of Shri 3 Maharaj. Inside the building, there were decorated urns in various places. A cinema called Ram Vivah was inaugurated by the concerned staff.First Movie Nepal.
The decoration of the interior of the cinema building could be compared to that of a famous cinema building. Everyone’s face looked very happy with the philosophy of this show. Many people had gathered in front of the building. Arrangements have been made to show the movie twice a day.
Preparation for the exhibition
As it was decided to open the first cinema hall in Nepal in August 2006, a petition was filed for permission to open a cinema hall for all of Shri 3 Mohan’s nieces, nephews, hopefuls and army men. Most of the petitioners are people who should not be defeated by the Prime Minister. Vijay to open cinema halls in government sector in Nepal,First Movie Nepal
He suggested that all the income from that should be handed over to the city development as assistance and cinema should be run through the industry council. That was immediately accepted. (Pandey 2071, p. 110)
According to Pandey, the then secretary of the municipality, Subba Anangman, was tasked with turning Sherchan Savik’s auditorium (now the Vishalbazar Metropolitan Police Circle, a public service site) or town hall into a cinema hall.
Shortly before the exhibition started, an editorial titled ‘Cinema’ was published in Gorkhapatra on 1 November. The editorial also gives the date of the public screening of the movie. The present visionary Shri 3 Maharaj has made arrangements to show the movie on tickets from December 26 under the auspices of the municipality to benefit the country. It is reported that the required amount of money has been withdrawn and the place to show it Has been destroyed. ‘
According to the same editorial, “people were scrambling to set up shop inside the cinema house camp” (Gorkhapatra, 8/1/2006). This information has been published as detailed work is required for the work of the poor box public cinema to be opened in the Juddhasadak auditorium under the supervision and supervision of Municipal Goshwara.
The salaries of these employees ranged from 180 (gate keeper) to 1500 (manager) per annum. Nara Bahadur Thapa, BA was appointed as the first manager of the cinema hall. Ram Prasad Rimal was appointed as the assistant manager.As mentioned in the editorial, the fact that the merchants are trying to set up shop inside the cinema hall compound is also evident from the information published in the magazine.
According to the information, as it was understood that there would be an open box in the public cinema in the Juddhasadak auditorium, many people from Behora had requested to have a shop selling cigarettes, betel nuts , Chiaroti etc. inside the auditorium of the auditorium. A total of nine shops were available for the day in Kawal Bahal and they could sell betel nut spices, cigarettes, matches, milk, tea, biscuits, sweets, bread, soda, sweet water, syrup ice cream etc. without increasing the market rate. First Movie Nepal .
How many and what kind of movies?
Directed by Prem Adib and produced in 1949, the religious film ran in Kathmandu for about three weeks. After this, a movie called Emperor Ashoka was screened. Produced in 1947 and directed by KB Lal, the film lasted a little longer than the previous day (about a month). However, the subsequent JK Nanda-directed film license lasted only two weeks. There was even a rumor that the movie was being censored.
In between, it was postponed for a few days due to electricity and other reasons (e.g., death mourning). From its inception to the end of 2007, at least 22 cinemas were shown in this hall. At least one movie has been screened for 10 to 33 days. It is known that an average of 19.5 days is spent in a cinema in Kathmandu. First Movie Nepal.
If we look at the movies made in Kathmandu based on his story, one third of the movies were shown focusing on religious and historical themes. The other two-thirds of the movies were about love, romance and other social issues, some of which were even hit movies that made a lot of money the year they were released.
The Rana ruler paid more attention to the theme of cinema. He also wanted to show his nieces and nephews in ‘appropriate’, religious and educational cinema.
But the details of the movies screened during the Rana period do not show that their goal has been achieved.
While showing movies in Kathmandu cinema halls, movie trailers and various other short documentaries to be shown in the near future were also shown. There were many English, some Hindi and even a Nepali in such documentaries. Other foreign documentaries including Private Life of Silkworm, Olympics, Handicraft of India were screened.
A documentary on Mohan Shamsher’s visit to India was also screened, which is probably Nepal’s first documentary. Apart from such documentaries, slides were also shown before the movie started.
Such slides are shown as advertisements and the price list of such slides is also published in Gorkhapatra.
Tickets and the black market
When the ‘Khela’ of cinema started at Kathmandu Cinema Bhawan, two ‘So’s’ of the day were shown .
Sometimes it increased to three hundred and sometimes it fell to two hundred. Initially, the first was scheduled from 12 noon to 2:30 pm and the second from 4 pm to 7:30 pm. This is also known from the information published in Gorkhapatra which has changed from time to time.
Initially, the ticket price for the movie was fixed at Rs 50 to Rs 5 per category, which is comparatively more expensive than now. There were five categories from first to fourth and including box. The box was only for the royal family, the Rana family and high-ranking officials.
Only if the royal family or the Rana-ruling family did not come, high-ranking non-Shah-Rana employees would have access to it. According to Bhim Bahadur Pandey, as soon as a new film was released, the then King Tribhuvan would go to the cinema to watch it.
An information published in Gorkhapatra further clarifies about the box seats: ‘From 2007, the game will also start in the 7-seat Royal Box of His Majesty’s Government and His Majesty’s Government.
It has been informed that if there is no indication that the Mousufs will ride for even half an hour, 17 brothers Ranaji, Guru Purohit and others will be given full seats up to the diamond moon rank. ‘(Gorkhapatra, 2007/1/3/4). Although there were five categories at first, the balcony level was added later.
Even though the price of movie tickets was relatively expensive, showing some movies at the same time led to ‘black market’ of tickets (up to three times) and even fights. Especially after the change of 2007, other cinema houses were opened in the city and the ticket price was reduced due to competition.First Movie Nepal.
Probably, there was an arrangement of advance booking of cinema tickets to prevent congestion, noise, quarrels and black market. Such bookings were opened a few hours before the start. But even with the advance booking system, it could not stop the black market of tickets. There was confusion during the screening of some movies. Some of the black marketeers were caught by the police and taken to the cage.
Once, there was a commotion after rumors spread that the staff of the cinema hall had blackmailed the ticket by hiding it. It is written in Gorkhapatra: “There is a big commotion today in Kathmandu Cinema Hall on the pretext that the ticket for the third balcony was blocked without selling to the public.” .Police also arrested young boys on charges of blackmail. Especially in non-religious movies (e.g., Golden Day, Swayamsiddha, Shavanam, etc.) tickets were blackmailed. This fact comes to light when the news about the black market was published in Gorkhapatra.First Movie Nepal.
From the study of Gorkhapatra material and other secondary sources, little is known about the home audience in Nepal’s first cinema. Since the ticket price for the upper class is a bit expensive, it can be said that only those who have a little will see it. But the lower class ticket rates were not so ‘expensive’ and especially the poor teachers seemed to make cinema a means of entertainment, so the Kathmandu Cinema Building was not only ‘persuasive’ to any particular class.
Harsh Maharjan has mentioned that the so-called untouchables have been banned from watching movies till 2007. But he did not disclose the source of the fact. According to Bhim Bahadur Pandey, ‘people of all classes’ were popular in cinema. The available facts do not indicate that certain castes have been deprived of watching movies.
From the very beginning, female viewers were not barred from watching movies in Nepal’s first cinema house. However, there were some restrictions. Before the inauguration of the cinema house, a notice was published in Gorkhapatra on December 8, saying, “It will be shown only for the women’s section on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 12 noon.” Apart from that, the first and the second, the second class and the spectators from above and above have to show their world together. ‘
This information prevents women from watching movies on days other than the one scheduled. Similarly, even if the upper class gets to show their ‘Jahan’ in the cinema, it does not give that facility to the lower class. In the last days, the days fixed for women have been changed and sometimes it has been limited to one day of the week.It has been mentioned above that young boys have also been involved in the black market of movie tickets and have been arrested.
There were a lot of young boys and school students in the cinema audience. The information and order published in Gorkhapatra indicates the same: ‘When it is revealed that students have come to watch fraudulent movies, the Director General of the Industry Council has brought his own Guardian with him to the previous‘ So ’As there is an order box to make arrangements, only children under the age of 16 will be shown in the cinema as per the order. ‘(2007/8/19/4)First Movie Nepal.
Also, the ‘capacity’ of the cinema hall is not known. But in Gorkhapatra of 12 December 2007, a notice of contract has been published for the printing of tickets for the cinema building, which helps to estimate the number of spectators. According to the advertisement, the cinema needs 460,000 colorful (i.e. different categories) tickets a year.
If it is shown in cinemas throughout the year, it costs 1,260 tickets a day. If you show three sleeps a day, 420 tickets are available for one sleep. If two shows are calculated in such a way that up to 630 people can watch a movie. Therefore, it can be estimated that the capacity of the house in the cinema is 400 to 650 seats.First Movie Nepal.
From the time of Devshamsher’s reign (1958 BS), even though some ordinary Nepalis got to watch one or two films at different times or festivals, cinema was basically a means of personal entertainment of Nepal’s ruling or elite class till 2007. After Mohan Shamsher came to power, cinema started to be shown commercially in Nepal. And this means of entertainment, which was only in the hands of the aristocracy, gradually reached the masses.
This change needs to be understood in the context of the changing internal and global political-socio-economic environment, not as a trend of any particular ruler. Due to the advancement in cinema technology, in a short period of time, cinema became a major means of entertainment and business all over the world.
Hearing about the wonders of cinema and being fascinated by it, Nepali youths started going to India to watch movies in a huddle. This will make Nepal’s money go abroad,Secondly, there was a possibility of watching ‘Sabikhale’ movies, being initiated or derailed by ‘some other’ ideology and even engaging in anti-Rana organizational activities, so ‘religious and educational’ movies were shown in Kathmandu. Therefore, the socio-political changes that have taken place in neighboring India along with the expansion of the entertainment industry and the internal political situation in Nepal are responsible for the public access to cinema in Nepal. First Movie Nepal.
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