The Kapoor family has decided to sell RK Studios, which is spread over two acres in Chembur in north-east Mumbai, Mumbai Mirror reported. The studio was set up by Raj Kapoor in the 1940s, around the time he established his banner RK Films, and run by his family members, including his sons Rishi and Randhir, after his death in 1988.
The decision has been collectively taken by Raj Kapoor’s wife, Krishna, sons Randhir, Rishi and Rajiv, and daughters Ritu Nanda and Rima Jain, the newspaper reported. “A team employed by the family has initiated the process of negotiating the sale of the hallowed studio campus with builders, developers and corporates,” the newspaper added.
The studio had been battling mounting losses over the years, along with the disadvantage of being located in the eastern suburbs while nearly all the shooting lots are in Mumbai’s western suburbs. On September 16, 2017, a major fire destroyed vast portions of the studio during the shoot of a dance talent hunt show. Precious film memorabilia was lost in the fire, including the clown mask worn by Raj Kapoor in Mera Naam Joker and the piano used in Raj Kapoor’s Awara, Sangam and Bobby.
At the time, the family members had said that they would consider reviving one half of the studio and selling off the other half to builders to develop as a commercial office complex. Rishi Kapoor had told Mid-Day, “It’s located in a strategic area, with the Mumbai-Pune highway close by. The new airport will also come up nearby.”
In the Mumbai Mirror interview, Rishi Kapoor confirmed that the whole plot was up for sale. “We had to place a stone on our hearts,” he told the newspaper.
The last movie produced by the RK Films banner was Aa Ab Laut Chalen in 1999, starring Akshay Khanna and Aishwarya Rai.