Nostalgic Places, Memorable Films of Different Era.

Kenya Cinema

Moons Cinema

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The Late Ameer Janmohamed with his wife Zeenat

If one reads a book called “A Regal Romance and Other Memoriesby the  late co-owner of Regal Cinema, Mr Ameer Janmohamed who came from a very prominent family in Kenya, he has clearly quoted saying, as follows:

“The number was reduced later when two separate internal staircases serving the balcony had to be built to comply with new and more stringent fire regulations, following the collapse of the roof of the Naaz Cinema, which was built in 1951, twenty years after the Regal”.

Another quote “Built in 1930, the Regal Theatre Building went up in flames one night in September 1985. The fire started after mid-night, well after the last performance had finished; there was no loss of life or injuries. The very last film which had been shown that evening was an Indian movie called “Chandan ka Palna”. The Fire Department were of the opinion that somebody had left a lighted cigarette on an upholstered seat”.

Remembering Ameer Janmohamed’s Regal Cinema, Jeevraj Air Services, Fatehali Dhala


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Nazz Cinema operator, the late Syed Mohamed Kassamali Shah

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Late Kanwarlal Sabharwal Was
Accomplished Businessmen

In the 80's he bought out the 'Naaz' cinema, renamed it 'Lotus Cinema' and concentrated on showing a mix of 'Kung Fu' epics, westerns and religious films popular with old town audiences.



Naaz ki Kahaani Meri Zubani. (The story of Naaz and my testimony)

By Ramzan Allan

Up till the time that the Naaz Cinema finally rose up at this site in the early fifties, Messrs Samji Kala and their company Majestic Theatres ruled the roost. Other than the Regal Cinema which screened mostly English films, there was no competition and films lay canned in Samji Kala's warehouse at times for more than two years before being released. There were no DVDs or VHS or Internet at that time! Then the Moons [Cinema] loomed up on the horizon and the race was on!


Late Mohanlal Kala Savani of Samji Kala & Co. Ltd., Mombasa.

The pioneer Kenya businessman,passed away in 1998 at the age of 98 years. Having arrived at Mombasa just after the First World War (1918) he founded his business which through the years he expanded not only in Kenya but all over East Africa.

His concerns included import and export of raw cotton, textiles and various other items. He had established one of the leading film distribution and Cinema business throughout East Africa since 1930, and was a Founding Member of such industries as Kicomi, African Cotton Industries, Samex Textiles and Mombasa Towel Manufacturers. Furthermore, he was one of the leading property developers on the Kenya Coast.

Mohanbhai was a silent and constructive public working and elder guide to many and a very generous donor to many local charities. He was also a Trustee of the Mombasa Lohana Community during his lifetime. Narrated by Nalin Raichura

Memorable Films & Links