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at the Frontiers of Cinema
CSCS - Centre for the Study of Culture and Society

Jyothi Talkies, Madanapalle
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Built in 1940, Jyothi Talkies is the oldest cinema hall in Madanapalle town. In 2001 the theatre regularly screened a combination of action and soft porn films. Like many cinema halls in Andhra Pradesh built before the 1960s, the seating is a combination of hard wooden benches for the cheapest tickets and cushioned seats for more expensive ones. Plans were afoot in early 2001 to transform Jyothi into an ‘A Class’ cinema hall, complete with a new sound system and airconditioning.

A local martial arts school Okinawan Goju-Ryu Universal Martial Arts use the spacious premises of the cinema hall to conduct its sessions. The school’s chief instructor Sampathi Ramana watches martial films with his students to help them train better.

Entrance to the ‘Third Class’ View of the Third Class
R. Shobhan, the proprietor of Jyothi A section of the office

View from the screen View from the projector room View from the First Class

Publicity campaign begins for Shabash Raja (P.S. Ramakrishna Rao, 1961). The good old days, when Jyothi was much sought after by distributors for 'first release' of films.
Cinema halls in Madanapalle continue to employ local orchestras to go in procession throughout the town on Friday mornings advertising new releases. Every cinema hall owns a rickshaw, which is decorated with posters of the new release and accompanies the orchestra.

In February 2001 the Jet Li starrer Romeo Must Die was immediately followed by the film Save Me.