The National Museum of Indian Cinema (MNIC), a first-of-its-kind in India, was developed by CRTL in collaboration with the Films division and the Nehru Science Centre, Mumbai. It is a story telling museum where artifacts have been used to supplement the story. This is the first museum dedicated to films in India. Through movie clips, photographs, film equipment and other film memorabilia, it will take visitors through the history of cinema from across the country. But the history of Gulshan Mahal – both before and after Partition – is itself an intriguing tale. Several vintage equipment – some 70-80 years old – that were used to produce some of India’s earliest documentaries, have been exhibited along with costumes the stars wore in iconic Bollywood scenes.
In Gulshan Mahal, the 19th century heritage bungalow, a sequential narration of the history of Indian cinema is told through eight galleries. But bearing the hallmark of CRTL and NCSM, this has been an interactive museum as well. Apart from audio guides, it offers retrieval of oldest cinemas made in India, interactive searching of thousands of film songs, a hands-on film shooting and post production arena wherein kids can try out their own filming acumens and a temporary exhibition on Gandhi and Indian Cinema.
Besides showing the first animation film made in India, it exhibits the huge animation camera that made that film happen. But it also displays the cameras and editing machines that the film maestros like Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen and V Shantaram used. The museum gives a visual narrative of the matinee idols and the silver screen divas. Yet again it talks of the new wave, film certification, Regional Cinemas and the methods of film making.