Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bollywood posters

If you enjoy exploring the Bazaars in India, there is an antique market in Bombay with shops that sell posters from Bollywood movies. This can be an exciting way to spend an afternoon in Bombay. ‘Bollywood Bazaar’ is the name of a shop on Mutton street at Chor Bazaar in Mumbai that sells Bollywood posters and other Film memorablia from Hindi films. It has been a shop in this antique market since the last 65 years. It was in the ‘80’s that Shahid Mansoori first began to keep his own personal collection of film memorablia in his father’s shop here.

For Shahid, this was a passion and his sources were Cinema halls that were closing down, offices of distributors and private collectors. There are about forty people all over India who help him source the material. In the early days, few people took interest in buying old film posters. Today, Shahid sells in India as well as abroad. Every year, his collection is displayed at a private exhibition in Paris which is organised in collaboration with a French art dealer.

Posters can cost from Rs.50 to Rs.5000, depending on whether it is an original first print or a 2nd or 3rd print. In the old days, these were only hand-painted posters. Shahid also has some of these rare hand-painted ones in his collection. He has gathered also the booklets with song lyrics from films which were usually made available to the public after the release of a new Hindi film.

The original shop that belonged to the family was called ‘Mini market’. Later, Shahid Mansoori purchased two more shops on the same street. One of them is ‘Bollywood Bazaar’ which hires out film memorablia like posters, records and photographs and is managed by Shahid’s son Wahid.

The second shop is called ‘Super Sale’. It is managed by Sajid, his second son and caters primarily to a foreign market. They also have a warehouse that stocks more material which is often used in their ‘Film and T.V. serials’ decoration assignments. Sajid mentions that the two books that I might find useful are ‘Living Pictures’ by David Blamey and ‘Bollywood Posters’ by Sheena Sippy.

If one is a lover of Bollywood films and memorablia, Shahid Mansoori offers to relate tales of how some of the posters and photo stills of Hindi film actors and actresses found their way to his shop. In an antique bazaar and to an antique lover, it is perhaps these tales that are so much what he seeks. If you were to take a ‘Bollywood Bazaar tour’ it would center around these shops called the ‘Mini-market’ and ‘Bollywood Bazaar’ at this corner junction of Mutton street and its focal point would be Shahid Mansoori. It is a journey through time and a fun-filled one!

You can write to them at or call them on 91-22-23472427. They are closed on Fridays. 

Other Bazaar tours in India :
Bazaar Tour 1 : Dadar Flower Market, Mumbai
Bazaar Tour 2 : Antique market, Mumbai
Bazaar Tour 3 : Varkala, Kerala
Bazaar Tour 4 : Gandhi Bazaar, Bangalore


Anil P said...

I've roamed about in Chor Bazaar, but missed seeing this particular enterprise. May his tribe increase. Good to see it listed in your post.

Those posters have a feel to them that is not dissimilar to old Mumbai buildings.

Indian Bazaars said...

Anil: It is an interesting comparison you make between the Bollywood posters and Bombay's old buildings. It reminds me of Italo Calvino's essay on 'Cities & Memory' where he says “ … the city which can not be expunged from the mind is like an armature, a honey-comb in whose cells each of us can place the things he wants to remember…”

cv said...

Simply superb, i have migrated from Hyderabad to Mumbai last month and happy to know of Bollywood Bazaar! I have bookmarked the site and could also share me few good jewelery shops in Mumbai? thanks

Legal CV

Anu said...

Nice one! just read in today's paper that part of Chor bazaar had been demolished... so typical of BMC to demolish something interesting and leave all those horrible slums alone.... and to think in all the years i have been here, i have just barely seen the place, never really explored it like you!

Indian Bazaars said...

CV : There is a large concentration of Jewellery shops in Zaveri Bazaar, near Crawford Market in South Bombay

Anu : One does wish that the old parts of the city would be cared for more, isn't it? I lived in Bombay for many years - grew up there, but it is only now that I step out to see places each time I am in Bombay for a few days:)

Anjali said...

Like you said. I've lived there all my life but not yet seen Chor Bazaar in real only in documentaries, atleast you are exploring now. Had seen this shop on discovery and that man is quite a storyteller and full of so much information on the old bollywood.

radha said...

A bollywood bazaar! That's something unique I guess. We did have some little kiosks at popular bus stops ( way back in the 70s) where they would sell posters of popular actors and also little songbooks. I think the songbooks no longer exist. But they were so popular then.

Indian Bazaars said...

Anjali: The experience of the bazaar changes so much the moment one gets into a conversation with the people.

Radha: I too remembered the songbooks when I was at the shop and asked about them. They do have a good collection of those.