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Barcelona bonds with Bollywood

Theater focuses on Indian movies

BARCELONA — Maldakistan, the first theater in Spain to show only Bollywood movies, opened Monday in Barcelona.

Ajay Chandok’s “Nehle pe Delha,” which bowed in India Friday, will be the first pic to screen, and will be followed by Subhash Ghai’s “Pardes.”

Theater is managed by Sun and Moonlight. Prexy Shankar Kishnani arrived in Barcelona in the eighties, opening a shop selling souvenirs. Now he owns a hotel and several apartment blocks.

When legendary theater, the Malda, failed to pass safety checks in 2003, Kishnani came to the rescue, renovating the building, which finally reopened Monday with a new name and a new clientele.

Barcelona plays host to a cosmopolitan population, including 3,500 folk of Hindi and 13,000 of Pakistani extraction. Most live in El Raval, the neighborhood, where the Maldakistan is located. But Kishnani has his sights set on a wider audience than that.

“We are counting on (attracting) not only Hindi and Pakistani audiences but also Catalan and African people, who are very fond of this type of cinema,” he told Daily Variety.

All movies will have Spanish subtitles.

There will be two or three daily screenings, all recent Bollywood productions, with a new feature opening approximately every 10 days.

Maldakistan will have to contend with Spain’s rampant piracy, so movies will open days after their Indian release.

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