MUMBAI: The news is spreading very silently and it is evoking very surprising but exulting reaction from the neighbouring Muslim majority areas of Nagpada, Madanpura and Bhindi Bazaar. Muslims in these areas have known Alexandra Cinema, which is situated at Bellasis Road and located in the vicinity of red light area of Kamathipura in South Mumbai, as a den of vulgar and X-rated English movies patronised by those from poor strata of the society visiting red light district. From the past few years this Cinema got shut down, nobody knew that slowly and silently the Cinema changed hands for good.
It is mentioned that an Islamic NGO from Mumbai, DEENIYAT, which is carrying out the work of Dawah and Tableegh purchased the Alexandra Cinema and turned it into an Islāmic Centre. The hall of the Alexandra Cinema has been transformed into a Mosque where for the last few years five times prayer is being conducted.
The outer structure of Alexandra Cinema has remained the same but inside; there has been a huge change and the cinema which for decades was spreading evil in the form of X-rated films is now an Islāmic Center and a Mosque, which is calling the mankind and society towards welfare or Falah.
This revolutionary change of a notorious cinema located in the vicinity of an old red-light area is appreciated by the majority in neighborhood, which mainly consist of many educational institutes. There are a number of Girl’s schools in the neighbourhood and also Maharashtra College of Arts, Science and Commerce is situated just opposite to this former cinema. The staff members who are serving in these institutions expressed relief and happiness that this theater which has been a blot in this educational area of Nagpada has closed its business now.
A teacher from Anjuman Islam Girl’s School situated near the former cinema said “Not only the X-rated films but the posters and publicity of these film used to be very embarrassing not only for us but also for our little girl students for several decades, its good news for us and a sigh of big relief that this cinema is now turned into an Islāmic center and a Mosque”.
A lecturer from Maharashtra College, a college situated opposite to the cinema, while welcoming the closure of the cinema recalled his days as a student in the same college by saying “Many of the students were often enraged by the vulgar posters of the cinema, our colleagues had torn the hoardings of the cinema on several occasions as a protest but it didn’t have any effect on the managing committee of Alexandra Cinema. The sale of the cinema has now closed this chapter and its good news that instead of any shopping mall with multiplex cinema, this place has become an Islāmic Centre and a Mosque”.
The change was led by Mumbai-based businessman Rafiq Dudhwala who purchased the stretched out 15,000sq ft property for a few crores and gave it to an Islamic NGO in 2011 . The people of the area which predominantly contained Muslims, are extremely cheerful about the transformation.