A fantastic effort in archiving online the cinema theaters of Kerala

Kerala Cinema Theaters digital archive at m3db This one is sheer delight. Also takes me way back to the times when I started putting down whatever I knew and have gathered from learned ones through this blog on Malayalam Cinema. THIS was something that was one of the top priorities in my mind, which I wanted to archive here. But then, other matters took precedence, and the enormity of the effort, for a moment must have overwhelmed me and it got filed away in the duty archives. So it gives nothing but absolute pleasure to learn about a group of highly dedicated and passionate group of Malayalam Movie lovers who are powering this initiative.

The Admin team at m3db.com, aims to archive every single surviving cinema in Kerala, standing or with its its skeleton intact, with its own history, anecdotes, in short, anything that can add to the ‘heritage’ of the building. They intend to do it through its community, inviting them to post photographs and textual content to these email addresses, m3dbteam@gmail.com or admin@m3db.com.

So if you are in Kerala, and your local cinema is one that you pass through almost every day,
Here is what you should do on the weekend :

1. Take three or four frontage shots with your cellphone camera ( convenience !) or with a conventional camera.

2. Try chatting up the oldest attendant/Manager on the history of the place. Any memorable moments in the cinema’s history and the like, its biggest box-office collections, its founder. Anything that seems worthwhile.

3. Put them down as an e-mail, with your name and location, attach the photographs and send it to m3dbteam@gmail.com or admin@m3db.com.

I really, really hope this gets traction and gathers up steam. This is a necessary, commendable and meaningful initiative that deserves every shot of encouragement and participation, if you ask me.

Why ? Because, effectively, you are archiving for posterity, a part of your childhood and  youth. And they would be an invaluable source of reference and learning for the coming generations.That is why.

One of the most memorable movie moments captured associated with our cinema ‘kottaka’s.

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18 thoughts on “A fantastic effort in archiving online the cinema theaters of Kerala

  1. I invite ur sincere presence to “ORMAYILE NISHAGANDHIKAL”-A Rare Photo Exibition of Travncore Sisters and A Vedio Exibition of Breast Cancer Awarness on 12-11-2011,Vyolippilli Hall Trichur;11:am to 6:00pm,inagurated by Malayalathinte Amma”Kaviyoor Ponnamma”.This programme is organised by me in connection with the 35th and 29th death annivesaries of Ragini and Lalitha who were victims of Breast Cancer.Proceeds of the show will be handed over to Pain&Palliative Care Society Trichur,like that of last time
    .Please do come or pray for me. I am in the path of a great cause.

  2. നന്ദി സിനിമാറ്റേഴ്സ്..ഒരു നല്ല സിനിമാപ്രേമിക്കേ ഇത്തരമൊരു സംരംഭം കണ്ട് അവേശഭരിതനാവാൻ കഴിയൂ എന്നൊക്കെ ഒരു ക്ലീഷേ വാചകമടിച്ച് പോകുന്നതിനപ്പുറം നന്ദി..ഫേസ്ബുക്ക് കമ്യൂണിറ്റിയിൽ നിന്നാണ് ഇത്തരമൊരു സംഗതി ഇവിടെ വലിയ വിശാലതയോടെ എഴുതിവെച്ചതറിയുന്നത്..സ്വയം പ്രകാശനത്തിനുമാത്രം സമയം ചിലവഴിക്കുന്നതിനിടക്ക് ഇത്തരം മികച്ച സംഗതികൾ നടക്കുന്നുണ്ടെന്ന് അറിയുന്നതിന്റെ സന്തോഷവും കോറിവരച്ചിട്ട് പോകുന്നു.സസ്നേഹം..

    1. Dear Kiran,
      The pleasure is mine. 🙂 I am trying to get the details of the cinemas in my lil’ hometown through my friends in Kerala. Would be sending it across as soon as I recieve it. Once again, the very best..regards, cinematters

      1. Hi Kiran, Sorry, I can not read Malayalam (I can only understand little Malayalam). You and your team are doing a great job. Could you consider making a English version of the site for the sake of people like me. Thank you. By the way, I have a good setup to digitize VHS and Mini DV tapes. If you need any help in digitizing them, let me know.

      2. Hello Vijay..I was looking at your comment since 10 minutes and was wondering how to start reply you..just because of the interest that you showed by offering a bunch of help on various things including a genuine concern for a lot of people.Thanks….Once the site reaches a minimum quality content to call it as a database,we would definitely consider your suggestion to put that in English version as well..Once again,thanks for the interest n’ offer.

        @CM Thanks again for the care 🙂

  3. It sure is long overdue, Vijay, according to me. And how about starting a similar one on the ones in AP ? Am sure, there would be a lot odf stories. I really hope this doesn’t die off and gets some traction with the online community. Thanks..cinematters

    1. A group (which includes me too) is doing a similar activity in AP. We have been digitizing a lot of videos, stills, audios and magazines. We do not have the web site kind of interface yet. But, our database is increasing. I am taking care of archiving VHS and mini DV tapes. If our friends at m3db needs any help in digitizing I can help. Thank you again for letting us know about m3db. I can not read Malayalam. Is there any English version of the same planned?

      1. Dear Vijay,
        I know the great work you are doing Vijay with regards to Telugu film history. 🙂 I was just checking whether the database of movie theaters were also a part of it. I am not sure whether the m3db.com team is planning on an English version. Maybe Kiran could be of help as I reckon he is a part of the Admin Team at M3DB. You could check with him directly as a reply to his comment. I am sure they would be delighted with the digitising part :D. Regards..cinematters

      2. Guys..it so interesting to watch these conversations..especially the passion that you guys sharing on cinema across the barriers…It also gives a new vision for us and its great to know that there are people out there who are truly interested to know about regional cinema’s from the neighborhood 🙂

        Vijay,would you mind to share a link for your dbase on Telugu films ?

        1. Dear Kiran,
          Its an effort to turn the spotlight onto those innumerable craftsmen, young and old, who have a given a part of themselves to make Malayalam Cinema what it is today. Sure, they were professionals, and were paid actors, but, then again, as you mentioned, without passion it wouldn’t have gone far. Well, it did, and it also means way much more than the “two ageing M’s” that purportedly are considered to be the locii around which this industry turns. And as far as I know, Vijay and his band of enthusiasts are still getting together their database and devising the best plan to showcase and serve their content.
          Vijay would surely be elaborating on that…regards..cinematters

      3. Dear Kiran, Thank you for your interest in Telugu database. We are yet to make a website. We liked the sites shown by CM. So, we would like to take your help for our website as we do not want to repeat the same effort. We have been collecting and digitizing VHS tapes, Audio tapes, Film Working Stills, Magazines and Books. Our indexing is ready for the songs up to 1960. Work is going on for the rest.

        While collecting Telugu VHS tapes, I came across some Malayalam tapes. I have digitized a few of them (based on CM’s feedback).

    1. Though we have not put special attention on the database of theatres, our database has some information on the old theatres. But, it is not consolidated yet. You and the other folks in the team are inspiration for us. You are much ahead of us (with all songs database being done). We will take your help in developing a good website for Telugu films and music.

      1. LOL. I am just a honorary, half-mad ‘bakra.’ Its communities like M3db and MalayalaSangeetham.info that should be commended for collating information to be shared with the world, solely banking on their passion and love for Malayalam films. With regard to the web portal, I am in touch with the guys and will let you know when they are ready with the framework..Regards..cinematters

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