From PhalkeFactory

Phalke leaves Laxmi Printing Art. A meeting is called at the residence of ex- mayor Naginer Master to persuade him to start a new press.

The Gujarati businessman:

Sister, do not worry that Laxmi Art has been lost. If Phalke Seth wishes, we can raise a Saraswati Art in one day

Phalke answers:

Laxmi Art was my own creation. How can I myself bring any harm to it? I don't want t go into printing any more. His wife, Saraswati, and his friend, G.S. Ranade, owner of the Temple of Industries, are unhappy with this decision.


"The hard, round-the-clock work he had put in over the three-colur process, the "Swarnamala" monthly, without caring for proper food or sleep seriously affected his system and sight. He kept telling us that we would take up some new business. We had then come to stay at Ismail building at Chowpatty and two of our children were still very small. Medical treatment, and even fasts and ritual offerings on my part wer of no avail. I used to look at the ocean and think of our future. Then Dr. Prabhakar came like an angle and restored his sight after a year's treatment.

During his blindnes, he played host to various story singers. After recovering his sight he started visiting Elphinstone theatre. His brother-in-law, ANanrtao Karandikar, Vitthalrao Sankhalkar, playwright Navalkar staged "Tarakmarak Manovijay Katha Karamyogi"

[1] 15th April, 1911

In this period his daily walks on the beach with his son, Babaraya was a regular affair. Keeping four annas in his pocket my husband would go for a walk and return in the late evening. It was Easter day. Next to Girgaum Bank road, in America-India Company, a tent theatre, a film was being shown, "Life of Jesus", showing the birth, miracles, trials, suffereings, burial, resurrection and ascension of Christ.

Phalke: " While the life of Christ was rolling fast before my physical eyes I was mentally visualising the gods Shri Krishna, Shri Ram, their Gokul and Ayodhya. I was gripped by a strange spell. I bought another ticket and saw the film again. Could this really happen? Could we, sons of India, ever be able to see Indian images on screen?

Phalke met the theatre manager, Mr. Mehta and saw the projection machine.


One day, on their coming back, Babaraya clung to me and said, "Today, we saw a wonderful thing. Pictures were moving. There were trains, tigers, elephants, and a fat man"


What did you show him?




What is cinema?


Come with me and see for yourself


That night, he remained very restless. He would open books and refer to them.

Next day, we both went to see the cinema.We came to an illuminated tent on Sandhurst Road. It as called American Cinematograph. The hall was crowded with Christians and Europeans. The film was coloured in Kinemacolour process.

On the way back home he said:

Now you will automatically know everthing since are going to take up the same business. Like the Life of Christ, we shall make pictures about Rama and Krishna


I was not at all happy to hear this, and kept quiet.

Next morning, he again returned to the theatre and found a discareded strip of film, studied it under the magnifying glass. Then he bought a toy cinema and picture reel from an English company. At home that night, with a candle light projector, he screened the film on the wall.

For two consecutive months, never at ease unless he saw every film show in every cinema house in Bombay, constantly preoccupied with analysis, considering whether he could make them here. All the circumstances seemed against it. Forty years of age then, with no source of income on whcih the family could fall back, he was not prepared for anything else. Undaunted, Phalke went ahead.


I kept liquidating my little possessions, continued to collect price lists, slept three hours a day for six months.

Royal Opera House

New Queen's Road

Near Sandhurst Bridge

Bandmann's Eastern Circuit


Owing to the unfortunate incident that our expert operator was suddenly taken ill during the 2nd show on Saturday, we apologise for the unfortunate delay and disappointment caused to our numerous patrons who visited the 2nd and 3rd shows on the opening night.

As our special Kinema-color operator is now alright, we gurantee that from tongiht the full programme of "Kinemacolour" films as hitherto advertised will be shown to the bst advantage: and all those who have the counterfoils of the seats they booked for Saturday's 2nd and 3rd Shows are requested to have them initialled for any other evening of our Show.




"The Coronation of Their Majesties King George and Queen Mary" (in black and white)

and several other pictures


7 to 8, 8.30 to 9.30 and 10-11

10 July 1911

1911 in phalke's journey

"yeh jalsa taajposhi ka, mubarak ho, mubarak ho!"

Gauhar Jaan and Janki Bai sing for George V's Dilli Darbar, in celebration of his being vested with supreme authority in India.

photographs from 1911, discovered [2]