History of Tamil film industry  

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

So I finally came up with the first post. All about Tamil film industry. Before reaching an era of releasing the movies on internet instead of theatres, lets have a look into the history of theatres in Tamilnadu and also about the origin of Tamil film industry…..here it goes…

M.Edwards screened the first ever movie show in South India at Victoria Public Hall, Chennai in 1897

Electric Theatre-the first ever cinema house in South India was built by Major Warwick on Anna Salai, Chennai in 1900

Lyric-the second cinema house in Chennai was started by Cohen at Anna Salai – 1902.

Edison's Cinematography-the first touring cinema in South India was formed by Swamikannu Vincent in 1905

Gaiety-the first Indian owned cinema house in South India was built by R.Venkiah.This still continues to screen movies in the same spot – 1914

  1. Nataraja Mudaliyar

S.M.Dharmalingam Mudaliyar and Nataraja Mudaliyar started the first film producing concern in South India at Chennai.Nataraja Mudaliyar made Keechavathanam the first feature film to be made in South India in 1916.

Pre-censorship of films was introduced through the Indian Cinematography Act of 1918.

Exhibitor Film Services, the first distributing concern in South India was startedby A.Narayanan in the year 1927

In 1929, with the formation of General Pictures Corporation in Chennai, cinema emerges as an entertainment industry in South India.

T.P.Rajalakshmi Ammal

In 1931, Kalidas, the first Tami talkie was screened. It was directed by H.M.Reddy and T.P.Rajalakshmi played the lead role. So it Tamil movie industry placed its first step here.

Srinivasa Cinetone, the first sound studio in South India was started by A.Narayanan in the year 1934


The birth of Stardom K.B.Sundarambal who received rupees one lakh as salary for playing the lead role in the film Nandanar (1935) .It was produced by Asandas Classical Talkies.

Cinema Ulagam,the first Tamil film journal was launched. It was edited and published by P.S.Chettiar in the year 1935

In the year 1936, the oldest studio in South India, Modern theatres was established at Salem.
Miss. Kamala, the first Tamil talkie to be directed by a woman named T.P.Rajalakshmi was released in the year 1936.

In 1937, Chinthamani, the first Tamil film to run for more than a year in a single cinema house was released.

The South India Film Chamber of Commerce started in Chennai in the year 1939, with S.Satyamurthi as the first president.

D.K.Pattamal,sang the first play back song for the long documentary Mahatma Gandhi by A.K.Chettiar – 1940

A.V.Meyyappa Chettiar

Harichandra(Tamil),was dubbed into Kannada by A.V.Meyyappa Chettiar thus becoming the first dubbed film in South India – 1943

The film Haridas played continuously for 110 weeks in Broadway talkies, Chennai – 1944

In 1951, K.B.Sundarmbal,the first film artiste (That too a women) to enter the legislature, is nominated to the Madras Legislative Council.

Andha Naal, the first Tamil film without any song was released in 1954

A shot from the movie Alibabhavum Narpathu Thirudargalum.

Alibabhavum Narpathu Thirudargalum (1955), the first full-length colour film was produced by Modern Theatres.

Tamizh Nadigar Sangam, an association of film artistes is founded by K.Subrahmanyam (1959).

The Institute of Film Technology started in Adyar,Chennai in 1960.


M.G.Ramachandran, film star wins an election from Parangimalai constituency in Chennai -1967.
Rajarajacholan for the cinemascope film in Tamil was released in 1973.

Annai Bhoomi, the first 3D movie, made in Tamil in 1985.

Maaveeran, with Superstar Rajinikanth in the lead role is the first 70mm film, made in Tamil in 1986.

Ooops!!!! am of tired of all these info. So feel proud of tamil film industry and also tamilians who helped in establishing such a great media.

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