July 28, 2015

1940s: A View of Lalkurti Bazar

1940s: A View of Lalkurti Bazar
1940s: A View of Lalkurti Bazar
no this is ridiculous. LALKURTI named derived from the red skirts worn by Brirish Royal Artillery Regimets(Same skirts quiet often worn by present Prince Charles) and near 22 No chowk there used to be washer mans area where these washer mans after washing these uniform skirts place on barbed wire perimeter fence for drying .From there this name of LAL KURTI emerged and same is RA bazaar here British Royal Artillery regiment was deployed.

1920, Lyons Cinema and Cafe

This is Plaza cinema. It was one of the top movie houses in Rawalpindi frequented by luminaries and dignitaries in sixties and seventies. It projected English movies only. It was a favorite haunt of young men who would gather there in the evenings. The cinema was owned by Mr. Ehsan Shah. Two of sons, Iqbal Shah and Aftab Shah joined the Army. That was the era of Beatles, Elvis and Cliff Richard and all other stars of sixties. Boys would model themselves after them. Miru (Ameeruddin) was on top.

Plaza cinema, adjacent to Odeon. Formerly known as Lyons' Cinema (& Café`) its proprietor was Mr. W. Lintott (of Murree's Lintott's café fame.) While the owner of adjacent Odeon was a Sikh who also managed Lansdowne Theatre in Peshawar and several other cinemas in British cantonments like Murree, Risalpur, Nowshera, Cherat etc. His decendant now lives in Delhi and he contacted me when he heard about the impending demolition of Lansdowne (Falaksair) which we and our fellow conservationists were trying to stop back in 2007. The building was declared a Protected Monument alongwith Capitol Cinema under the Federal Antiquity Act 1975 (pre-18th Amendment) but the demolition continued despite repeated pleas by citizens to the then Musharraf-era Supreme Court, but to no avail. Intriguingly, the Cantonment Board Peshawar granted a NOC to the builder, stating that the "building was 74 years old and not 75 years". This extraordinary move by the CBP raised eyebrows because it was clearly carried out to forestall any court injunctions pertaining to the Federal Antiquity Act 1975. According to the Act, generally buildings older than 75 years meet the definition of "Antiquity". The dubiously phrased NOC produced by CBP was not possible had there been some honest officials running that department - even though older photos of the building belied CBP's claim which favoured the builder.
A young Raj Kapoor who hailed from Peshawar had once performed here.
Also See: BBC Report by Haroon Rashid from 2007 on the intervention by Federal Government to halt demolition which continued brazenly: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6421145.stm

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