Old cinema reinvented as Indian restaurant
This building was once a cinema. It showed mostly black and white films that were dubbed with a Burmese voice-over, that’s how it got its name “Yadanar Talkie House.” The cinema was built around 1948 under the ownership of Agasha Razi, a Shitte Muslim man who was working as a contractor builder in Kalaw. He then sold it to Indian contractor Ram Kumar in 1961. But after just a few years of new ownership, it was then taken by the military under their policy of nationalisation in the 60s and used as a warehouse to store rice, oil and other dry goods. Finally, the son of Ram Kumar was able to negotiate and get the building back. Today it is a restaurant selling southern Indian cuisine.
The current owners, Shankar and Khin Moh Moh Lwal, love this cinema and although they have considered selling it, they have chosen to pass it down through their family, rather than sell to developers. Shankar says “I was offered a huge amount of money in 2013…so I thought it over for 2 to 3 days but if you look at it from this way, I am the last here of my generation and I want my children to have something to have for their heritage.”
The butter chicken, mint naan, palak paneer and masalas are some of the customer's favourites. Or to have a little taste of everything, order a set lunch.