[dropcap]R[/dropcap]ishi Kapoor on the rotating stage in bright clothes. The song was – Meri Umar Kay Naujawano, the film was Karz. The song was shot on the country’s first revolving floor at the famous RK Studio. Kapoor family has recently decided to sell RK Studio, which was once considered the ‘Mecca’ of Bollywood. Legendary showman Raj Kapoor’s RK Studio’s history is glorious like his films. The stars still remember the food and the amenities at the studio.
RK Studio was centre for celebration of festivals
Famous actor Manoj Kumar explains that RK Studios was a milestone in that period. Not only to shoot, the centre was used for celebration of festivals too. “There I shot the most memorable movies of my life– Shore, Kranti, and Upakar,” said Kumar.
‘Raj Sahab’s lifestyle was like that of a Nawab’
Raza Murad says that in 1948, Raj Sahab borrowed money and bought land for this studio in Chembur.
“We have not seen the real Nawabs. But Raj Sahab’s lifestyle was like that of a Nawab. During the shoot, 11 types of dishes were prepared and served to all– from superstars to the spot boys. Then there were more than 100 staffers in the studio. Perhaps the first and only revolving floor was built in his studio,” added Murad.
‘We got treatment like a seven-star hotel’
Actress Himani Shivpuri says that the indoor shooting of Prem Granth and Aa Ab Laut Chalen was done in the RK Studios. “During the shooting of film Prem Granth, all actors used to bring their tiffin, but on the sets, the long list of dishes used to stun us. The fish used to be so much in quantity that we all asked them if they had a pond. We always got our favourite things in the makeup room. Simply put, we got the treatment like a seven-star hotel in the studio,” said Shivpuri.
‘It is not just a studio but a temple for me’
Actor Kiran Kumar reminisces how his career began at the studio. “I gave the first shot of my first film Do Boond Pani on the studio premises. So, for me, it is not just a studio but a temple. Later, I also did Hina there. I have done many films, but the food at the RK studio was unmatched.
‘People came from far away to see Holi celebrations at RK Studio’
Raza Murad explains that Raj Kapoor had a great love for the costumes of his films. From the first film to Ram Teri Ganga Maili, the costumes of the artists were preserved in a large hall of the studio. Mera Naam Joker was the most expensive movie of his career. The studio had to be mortgaged as the film was not successful on the box office. Raza explains that people used to come from far away to see the Holi celebrations at RK Studios.
No film shot at RK Studio in last two decades
The last movie shot here was Aa Ab Laut Chalen. It was shot almost 20 years ago. Some reality shows and brands were shot. After the fire mishap in 2017, the studio closed completely. It is spread over about two acres. Over Rs 50 lakh is spent annually on its maintenance and for paying property tax.
(Story: Amit Karn)