Badami House, Bengaluru
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Demolition in 2017
The century-old building in Bengaluru will be razed soon
Badami House, the iconic stone structure opposite the Bruthat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike office, which has been a hub of the Kannada film industry for the past four decades, will soon cease to exist.
The process for demolishing the century-old George Oakes Building, popularly known as Badami House, has begun and it will soon be fully razed. The owners of the building are waiting for the Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy and the Film Unit of Department of Information and Public Relations, which are housed in this building, to shift to Amrutotsava Bhavan in Nandini Layout before going ahead.
According to S.V. Rajendra Singh Babu, Chairperson, KCA, the academy is forced to vacate the building since the government has lost a protracted battle with the owners. SBI, Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation, which were functioning out of this building, have already vacated. DIPR’s film unit and KCA are the last ones to vacate.
“Priyadarshini preview theatre here was the only screening facility in the 80s and Kannada actors, including Dr. Rajkumar, watched preview of their films here,” recalled H.B. Dinesh, Registrar, KCA. Panel members of the Central Board of Film Certification, expert committees formed to extend subsidy facilities to Kannada films and selection committees of film awards were screened here.
Sarvottam Badami (1910-2005), multilingual film-maker who started his career as a sound recordist for the first talkie in India Alam Ara (1931), had bought this building from George Oakes, which was later sold to Bux Ranka Developers. Earlier, this stone structure housed British and American libraries, recalled Jaganath Prakash, film historian.
With KCA opening its office in 2006 and becoming Centre of Bengaluru International Film Festival, Badami House turned out to be a beehive of activities related to films. “In all probability, KCA will shift to its new building in Nandini Layout by November 1 and owners of the building will demolish the heritage structure. That marks curtains for a glorious chapter in the history of Kannada cinema,” said Mr. Babu.