Rivoli theatre building in poor state, likely to be demolished

Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 19

The Municipal Corporation is likely to order the demolition of the dilapidated Rivoli building, a major city landmark about a decade back, in the next few days.

"We visited the building today and found it in a very bad state. It has developed cracks at several places, the pillars too have shifted a little, and the entire structure appears tilted. We will take the decision about what needs to be done in the next few days," said MC joint commissioner Ajit Bhardwaj.

Falling apart

A portion of the building had collapsed about a week back. Considering its condition, we had asked a few people residing there to move elsewhere. The building is apparently falling apart. Ajit Bhardwaj, MC Joint Commissioner

"A portion of the building had collapsed about a week back. Considering the condition the building is in, we had asked a few people residing there to move elsewhere. The building is apparently falling apart," said Bhardwaj.

While the MC will take a few days to decide on future course of action vis-agrave;-vis the building, an MC official, on the condition of anonymity, said the building appeared beyond repair or restoration and demolition seemed to be the only option now.

Along with Ritz and Regal, the Rivoli theatre was one of the best known landmarks of the city. The building was declared unsafe around a decade back, forcing the closure of the theatre.

"The administration declared the building unsafe in around 2010 and did not renew my license. As a result, I had no option but to stop the screening of films," said Vinod Seth. Ever since, the building has not been maintained. Seth's family had taken the building on rent in 1940s. "Rivoli, Regal and Ritz were the pride of the town. Unfortunately, all are shut now," said Seth.

As per the MC officials, the building is in the sinking zone. Right above the building, a portion of The Ridge, too, has been sinking for a while now. The portion was to be restored, but the project is yet to take off as the required permissions from forest department is yet to come.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service
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