Civic body, Kolkata Police traffic wing shoot down shoe store plan in place of Elite cinema | Kolkata News

KOLKATA: Movie buffs of the city, alarmed by the news of Elite making way for a footwear store, have heaved a sigh of relief – for now. A proposal was sent to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation seeking permission to convert the cinema into a store while retaining the retro fittings and some old pillars.
However, the Municipal Building Committee has rejected the plan. Movie buffs are happy that for the time being the cinema structure can be saved from demolition since the traffic wing of the Kolkata Police has also objected.
“Though we knew some of the provisions of the KMC building rules won’t allow construction of a major shoe store on SN Banerjee Road, we had sent the proposal to the Municipal Building Committee. The matter was discussed at the meeting and after an objection was raised by the traffic wing of the Kolkata Police, we decided to give it a fresh look. Now it appears that giving a nod to such a proposal will be next to impossible,” said a KMC buildings department senior official.
What has surprised single screen lovers is the fact that Elite does not figure in the city’s list of heritage buildings despite the cinema’s illustrious history. According to a KMC official, when a survey was on to identify the city’s heritage structure and prepare a gradation list in the mid-90s, the task was done in a hurried way. “The survey reflected personal choice and whims of a section of the experts. So, some prominent structures were excluded from the list,” said a civic official.
Photographer Bijoy Chowdhury, whose calendar titled ‘The Melody of Single Screen in Kolkata’ has pictures of the city’s single screens, is appalled by the way Kolkata is callous about preserving these buildings. “It is a shame that Chaplin was
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