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Remembering the Natraj cinema: 'We used to watch three films on one ticket!'

The Natraj Cinema was one of a handful across Leicester catering for Asian audiences.

It cost a million pounds to build and initially was hugely successful, as there was very little in the way of programming for Asian audiences on television and radio.

Some of the movie-goers who watched Bollywood films back then now live a stone's throw away and have fond memories of going to the cinema.

Bollywood films at Leicester's Natraj cinema 'were great fun'

Hitesh Pujara, team leader at sheltered accommodation run by Leicester City Council, talks to Sameena Ali-Khan about his experiences of watching Bollywood while growing up in the city.

Indian films were an important social tool, helping many who had moved to the Midlands from South Asia and East Africa adjust to life in the UK.

Bollywood helped migrants ‘feel more welcome’ in the Midlands

Bollywood’s popularity in the Midlands began to grow after people started to migrate from South Asia in the 1950s and later from East Africa.

Pritpal Sembi, a senior lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Wolverhampton explains the significance of the Indian film industry for those migrants.


Jadoo premiere in Leicester tonight

A new British Asian comedy filmed in Leicester is being premiered in the city today. The movie stars Harish Patel (Run Fatboy Run) and Kulvider Ghir (Bend it Like Beckham) as two chef brothers whose falling out turns into a full-on restaurant war.

A delicious scene from Jadoo, a new comedy movie filmed in Leicester

Much of the film was made in the Belgrave Road area of the city, known locally as the Golden Mile, where the two lead characters set up restaurants on opposite sides of the street.

Jadoo, which means 'magic' in Hindi, also stars Indian chef and actress Madhur Jaffrey, Ray Panthaki from Eastenders and the late Paul Bhattacharjee, who appeared in James Bond film Casino Royale.

Bollywood film makers in Leicester

Bollywood dancers Credit: Sergei Grits/AP/Press Association Images

Scenes for a Bollywood movie will be filmed in a Leicester University building later today.

A 100-strong crew has been on the campus since September, shooting scenes for Yamla Pagla Deewana 2, mostly in the botanic garden.

Today the Percy Gee building will be the scene for a cocktail party and auction. It's the third Bollywood film to be shot on campus.

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