In the 1920s a small hall opposite the Nag Kota Pukhuri in the town’s Panbazararea became the center of great attraction. Every evening a band party sat in front of the pukhuri (pond) and played mellifluous tunes, while a tooter announced from time to time, “Ahok, chabit sachal manuh sai jaok (Come, watch moving men in pictures).” For the first time in the town a silent movie was being screened, and history created. 

            The hall had a seating capacity for about sixty people, mostly on benches and bamboo-rails. Of course there were a few chairs, but they were expensive at twelve annas for a ticket. Tickets for benches on the other hand sold for two annas, and one had to part with only an anna for bamboo rails. The credit of bringing the movie machine – a 16 mm projector and a 16 ft x 10 ft screen—to town went to an enterprising man called Chittaranjan Sen. 

   Unfortunately for Sen, all grandiose plans of making a mark in the entertainment business turned sour in the face of intense criticism from the orthodox sections of society. Dejected and frustrated, Sen finally handed over the business to Rafiqul Islam, then popularly known as Moina Mouzadar of Lakhtokia.

 The hall was christened the  Kamrup Cinema Company, although it was more popularly known as Rajur Cinema. And this was not without reason entirely, since it was a youth called Raju who single-handedly ran all the shows; he wasoperator-cum-technician-cum-manager-cum-ticket-seller-cum-whistle man.

 The so-called respectable people of the town assiduously avoided the hall, and the audience at Rajur Cinema comprised mainly of steamer coolies, laborers and cart-pullers. However old-timers admit that many students of Collegiate School and Cotton College did sneak their way into the hall whenever a matinee show was on. 


          In autumn of 1931 a change began to loom on the horizon. For weeks the town’s residents had been witnessing a decorated bagi (horse-drawn cart) and a rickshaw winding its way about town with a tooter announcing: “Chabit sachal manuh etiya kotha koi, gaan gai, badya dhwanir saite nache. Ahok, darshan karak aru prithibir astam ascharya sai jiwan sarthak karak. (Now the moving man speaks, sings and dances to the beat of drums. Come and find fulfillment by watching the eighth wonder of the world).” The intense advertising campaign had its desired impact. When the “eighth wonder” finally unfolded at Moina Mouzadar’s ‘Picture House’ in Kamarpatty -- a godown that had been converted into a cinema hall with a stage -- it was packed. 

      Some time later Masoom Ali, a fortune hunter from Delhi, and a resident of Kamarpatty bought the hall from Moina Mouzadar. Ali was a great entertainer and to attract people he brought a theatrical party that performed dances, mimicry and magic before the actual talkie was screened. But this was not to last long. 

The hall changed hands again, and was renamed Sati Talkies. The first full-length talkie that was screened in this hall was Rhishir Prem. Thereafter classics like Harishchandra, Alam Ara and Joydev broke records.

             Late Atul Chandra Banerjee who resided just opposite Sati Talkies was o later recollect: “The talkies was no doubt a tin-roofed structure, but it did not have a concrete floor. Benches and chairs were placed on the grassy ground and mosquito bites was de riguer. It was also common for people to smoke and spit around. Often the air became so thick with smoke that the movie became a blur.” 

The first class in the hall consisted of wooden chair for which tickets were fixed at 12 annas. In the second class tin chairs were provided and tickets cost eight annas. Cinema lovers in the third class had to pay four annas and sit on benches. 

In the wake of World War II, recession sprung its ugly head and the hall owner was beset with financial problems. Two patrons of the arts, Bhuban Chandra Chowdhury and Tilak Da, now came forward and bought the hall from Ali. They renovated the hall by building a concrete floor and installing new machines. The hall was renamed Bijulee Cinema and innovative advertisement techniques were introduced. During festivals movies were shown on a big screen that was put up just outside the hall, and until the year 1965 “Ek ticket me double programme” (Two movies in one ticket) was another attraction. The first movie that was screened in Bijulee Cinema was Jungle Prince, a box-office hit. In the 1960s several Assamese movies were released to packed house. And, of course, it was at this theatre that Raj Kapoor released his mega movie Sangam in the year 1960.