Manisegaran on Modern Theaters
Thank you for the topic. May I wish to share a little more information that I know of.
MT had produced a total of 118 films from 1937 to 1982.The first film was Sathy Agalya in 1937. The last film was the flop film of "Vetri Namathu" by Rajes and Vanitha in 1982.
The founder is TR Sundram who was working from 1937 till his death in 1963. His last film in 1963 was Konjum Kumari with Manorama as the heroine against R.Manogar as hero. Sundaram is a BSc graduate from London, and married an English lady.
Sundram used foreigners like Ellis R.Duncan,M.L.Danton,Bomman D. Irani to add quality to his films.
Sundram entered the Tamil cine field in 1933.He first teamed up with Salem Angel Film Company to jointly produce two films. It was in 1937 that he built up the Salem Modern Theatres. The first film was Sathy Agalya which was released in March 1937. In 1938 he released "Maya Mayavan". TR Sundaram himself has acted as hero in "Burma Rani" against KLV Vasantha as heroine.
Modern Theatres boasts of a few firsts.
* First Double role was in Uthama Puthiran by PU Chinnappa in 1940.
*First Malayalam Film called "Balan" was produced in 1938
* First Malayalam Colour film was "Kandam Vecha Kottu" in 1961
*First English film in Tamilnadu-Modern Theatres teamed up with an American Film company to produce the first English movie in 1952- "The Jungle"
*The first most expensive film to be produced was "Manaonmani" in 1942, starred by PU Chinnappa and TR Rajakumari.
*First Tamil Colour film(Geva Colour) was Ali Baba And 40 Thieves-1956
*First film where Manorama was heroine is Konjum Kumari in 1963. This is the 97th film for TR Sundaram. He died even before the film was released.
* First film to have 3 separate stories within a movie was "Chow Chow". The 3 stories are Kaligala "Mainar", "School Drama" and "Soorapuli".
At a time when Zoom lens was not discovered such efect was used in "Ponmudi" for which the French Government awarded the cameraman.
The 100th film was Vallavanukku Vallavan of 1965.
After the death of TR Sundaram, the responsibility of managing MT went to his son Ramasundaram. After Ramasundaram's death his English wife gave away most of the films for a 100 year lease.