The iconic RK Studios that produced Hindi cinema’s many acclaimed stars and films has been sold off. Founded in 1948 in Mumbai’s Chembur and named after superstar Raj Kapoor, the RK Studios was known for producing films that critiqued the society at large and addressed social, class barriers through many of them.
The RK Studios sale was executed on 4 May, 2019, and the new owner is Godrej Properties Ltd (GPL).
GPL plans to covert the 71-year-old building into a residential and retail block.
After failed attempts to renovate the studio following a devastating fire on 16 September, 2017, the Kapoor family had put it on the market.
GPL has purchased the Rs Rs 2.2 acre RK Studios premises for an undisclosed amount and plans to convert it into a modern residential apartments complex and a luxury retail centre spread over a saleable area of around 3,50,000 sq.ft.
“We will seek to ensure we celebrate the remarkable legacy of this site with the goal of delivering an outstanding lifestyle for its residents,” Godrej said in a statement.
Veteran Bollywood actor Randhir Kapoor, son of the founder of RK Studios, told IANS, “This property in Chembur, has been of tremendous significance to my family over the many decades that RK Studios has operated from there. We are excited to have chosen GPL to script a new chapter for this location and build upon its rich history.”
The studio was built by Raj Kapoor from the earnings of his hit film Barsaat(1949) and the RK Films banner extended to RK studios.
It was during the 50s that the studios produced cult-classics like Awaara(1951), Boot Polish(1954), Shree 420(1955), Jaagte Raho(1956) and Mera Naam Joker( 1970) among many others.. The studios allowed the Kapoors to shoot their films in a controlled, cost-effective environment.
At one point of time, Rishi Kapoor had said it was the greatest film school one could ask for. The studio also served as a venue for family parties and weddings for many years.
Incidentally, the RK Studio sale comes barely after eight months of late Raj Kapoor’s widow, Krishna, passed away the age of 87, on October 1, 2018.
The hallowed ground also saw the completion of some of its founder, Raj Kapoor’s film’s posthumously, like Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1989) and Henna (1991).
Fortunately, the studios, its memories and what it came to represent will survive in the movies it made.