THE BOMBAY TALKIES STUDIO
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JUN 25, 2019 | 1:45 PM

The Bombay Talkies Studios, fondly known as Bombay Talkies by many generations of movie fans, was the first Hindi Movie company to be established in India. Bombay Talkies was established in Malad, Mumbai (then Bombay) by Rajnarayan Dube along with Himanshu Rai, Devika Rani, F.E Dinshaw and Sir Firoze Sethna. It played a leading role in establishing the industry that we now celebrate as Bollywood. Its movies were enjoyed by millions over the ages and were the stepping stones to the success of superstars such as Devika Rani, Ashok Kumar, Madhubala, Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Mehmood, Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar and countless others.

The Bombay Talkies Studios story is full of magic and color. By 1932, Himanshu Rai was back in India after having been exposed to film making in Europe. His ambition was to bring these new cultural phenomena to the Indian people. This must have been harder than you think, because Himanshu Rai struggled to get this idea off the ground, primarily because of the money involved. He was meeting many people and trying to convince them about the magic of cinema but the effort was proving unsuccessful. He had the complete support of people such as F.E Dinshaw, Sir Feroze Sethna among others but they could not help him when it came to the crucial aspect of financing. On Monday, Wayfair management responded with an internal statement, saying that “it is standard practice to fulfill orders for all customers and we believe it is our business to sell to any customer who is acting within the laws of the countries within which we operate.” The statement added, “[T]his does not indicate support for the opinions or actions of the groups or individuals who purchase from us.”

In the 30’s, the movie business was supposed to be a ‘dirty business’. People would talk about movies, but many wouldn’t even consider going to watch one. This would be similar to people talking about gold prices but seldom buying it. Even though movies did make people curious, its reputation as a professional field was bad. There seemed to be a lack of respect for the profession because it was being considered the domain of undesirable sections of the then Indian society. Due to this lack of respect and understanding for the profession, financiers during those times would face an impossible challenge when it came to getting returns on their investment. On Monday, Wayfair management responded with an internal statement, saying that “it is standard practice to fulfill orders for all customers and we believe it is our business to sell to any customer who is acting within the laws of the countries within which we operate.” The statement added, “[T]his does not indicate support for the opinions or actions of the groups or individuals who purchase from us.” On Monday, Wayfair management responded with an internal statement, saying that “it is standard practice to fulfill orders for all customers and we believe it is our business to sell to any customer who is acting within the laws of the countries within which we operate.” The statement added, “[T]his does not indicate support for the opinions or actions of the groups or individuals who purchase from us.”

It was during this hunt for financiers that Himanshu Rai came in contact with Shri. Abhimanyu Prasad Singh, a close friend of Seth Badriprasad Dube, who was a well-known financier. He introduced Himanshu Rai, a London return actor/ theatre artist to Seth Badriprasad Dube with a dream of making a cinema company but Seth Badriprasad declined the proposal of funding Himanshu Rai because Seth Badriprasad had once financed the first Indian Talkie film Alam Ara which dint earn him any profit and he made an opinion that of only actors and directors get fame but the financier don’t get profits. During that era the film business was not considered as a money earning business. It was more about the passion of cinema and getting fame. Because of this fact Seth Badriprasad Dube declined the proposal of financing Himanshu Rai.

Shri. Abhimanyu Singh spoke next to Seth Badriprasad’s son Shri. Rajnarayan Dube. He was a young and dynamic businessman who operated a successful company called Dube Industries, which he had founded in 1929. Shri. Dube was born on 10th October 1910 at Kalighat in Kolkata and was an ardent devotee of Maa Kali. He was influenced by the power of art and creativity at a young age. Both men met at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Colaba, Mumbai (Bombay) and discussed an initial investment amount of Rs. 25 lakhs. However, Himanshu Rai couldn’t not convince Rajnarayan Dube to invest the amount because of the dismal returns on investment that the Indian movie industry offered. At this point, it would seem that Bombay Talkieswould never come to be, but things have a way of working out in unexpected ways. On Monday, Wayfair management responded with an internal statement, saying that “it is standard practice to fulfill orders for all customers and we believe it is our business to sell to any customer who is acting within the laws of the countries within which we operate.” The statement added, “[T]his does not indicate support for the opinions or actions of the groups or individuals who purchase from us.” On Monday, Wayfair management responded with an internal statement, saying that “it is standard practice to fulfill orders for all customers and we believe it is our business to sell to any customer who is acting within the laws of the countries within which we operate.” The statement added, “[T]his does not indicate support for the opinions or actions of the groups or individuals who purchase from us.”

A few months passed by and Himanshu Rai had grown increasingly despondent because it was becoming impossible to raise investment for his movie company. In his depression, the man attempted suicide but was unsuccessful. Shri. Rajnarayan Dube got wind of this through Shri Abhimanyu Prasad Singh and wondered about this man, one who so completely and wholeheartedly believed in the power of cinema and talking pictures that he did not see it fit to continue living if he couldn’t follow his dreams. Rajnarayan Dube decided that Himanshu Rai was onto something here and finalized the investment with him soon after. In doing this, Shri. Rajnarayan Dube went deliberately against the advice of his father, Seth Badriprasad Dube, who felt that this would not be a good investment choice. In doing this, Shri. Rajnarayan Dube gave birth to the Indian Film Industry, which has now gone on to become a huge cultural and financial force in the country.