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Bollywood movie makes Indian history with 1,000-week run

One film has been running every day at the same cinema in India for the past 19 years.

Its title? Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (The Brave-Hearted Will Take The Bride).

The Bollywood romcom starring Shah Rukh Khan started showing in Maratha Mandir cinema in Mumbai in October 1995. One thousand weeks later, the film still plays there every afternoon.

It has become one of India’s best-loved movies.

"I keep coming back," said Mr Ghulfam Ali, a plumber, who has watched the film there 20 times because it helps him to unwind.

"The way the scenes are shot, the music and songs are very pleasing to the eyes and ears," he told AFP, after buying his latest ticket.

Longest theatrical run

The three-hour movie celebrates its 1,000th week at the 1,100-seat Maratha Mandir on Friday, by far the longest theatrical run for an Indian movie.

The tickets – at just 20 rupees (42 Singapore cents) each – still regularly sell out on weekends.

The film tells the tale of two expatriate Indians living in Britain who meet and fall in love on a trip to Europe.

But the young woman Simran, played by actress Kajol, is to be married to a family friend in India, an arrangement set up by her strict father.

After various twists and turns in cities including London and Paris and a few picturesque musical numbers, the lovers get together and convince their families of the union – an important factor in conservative Indian society.

"I have fallen in love with the movie all over again after watching it here," said architect Mitali Vij as she sipped a soft drink during the interval.

The show will go on

The film was a breakthrough for Khan, the leading man, who became one of Bollywood’s most bankable stars.

The cinema is located opposite a bustling express train station, a bus depot and a public hospital, ensuring it gets a regular supply of patrons, who appreciate the cheap tickets.

A celebration is planned this weekend at the big screen to mark the milestone.

Mr Pravin Rane, the Maratha Mandir manager, said there are no plans to end the 19-year run.

"In my heart there is a voice which says the shows will continue," said popcorn seller Umar Bhai.

Source: AFP

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