'After the fire that broke at the studio, it was not viable to build the studio again...'
Seventy years after Raj Kapoor established R K Studio, his three sons have decided to sell off the iconic movie studio.
Randhir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor and Rajiv Kapoor believe it is not 'economically viable' to rebuild the studio after it was gutted in a fire last September.
Founded by Raj Kapoor in 1948 in Chembur, north east Mumbai, several films made by the Kapoor family were shot at RK Studio over the decades.
Last September, a major fire broke out on the sets of the dance reality show Super Dancer at the studio, during which its ground floor was gutted.
While Rishi Kapoor earlier expressed a desire to rebuild the studio with 'state-of-the-art technology', his elder brother Randhir Kapoor said it was not practical.
"Yes, we have taken the decision to sell RK Studio. It is already up for sale. After the fire that broke at the studio, it was not viable to build the studio again... It was not economically viable to do it again," Randhir Kapoor told PTI.
The films made under the RK banner and shot at R K Studio include Aag, Barsaat, Awaara, Shri 420, Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai, Mera Naam Joker, Bobby, Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Ram Teri Ganga Maili, among others.
The last film made under the RK banner was the Rishi Kapoor-directed Aa Ab Laut Chalen, starring Akshaye Khanna and Aishwarya Rai.
When Raj Kapoor passed away in May 1988, his eldest son Randhir took over the studio. Rajiv Kapoor, Raj Kapoor's youngest child, directed Prem Granth.
"Those who have planned to sell it are emotionally attached to the studio. I would wish that old studio with which old memories are connected should not be demolished," says Sachin Pilgaonkar.
"I have shot films there," recalls Arjun Rampal, adding, "It is definitely an iconic studio, so I hope it would remain."
"The news is heartbreaking," says Annu Kapoor. "RK Studio is an iconic place."
"It is the nature of life that what is old breaks off and something new that is good comes up," says producer Mukesh Bhatt whose niece Alia Bhatt is said to be in a relationship with Ranbir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor's son.
"We should welcome the change," says Mukesh Bhatt. "Let the old go and the new come."
Additional inputs: PTI, ANI