Which Indian city is known as the "home of Bollywood"?
And the answer: Mumbai.
Formerly known as Bombay, Mumbai is the home of Bollywood, an amalgamation of Bombay and Hollywood. The name Mumbai was restored in 1995. It is also India’s most populous city.
Bursting from the heart of the Hindi Film Industry are well-loved, widely-consumed Bollywood films. Bollywood is one of the biggest film industries in the world, producing over 1,000 films every year. Together with other films in the Indian Film Industry, Bollywood films reap a viewership of over 3 billion individuals. Indeed, Bollywood passed Hollywood in 2004 for global viewership, and remains the global leader in movie audiences.
India's first feature film was a silent movie titled Raja Harishchandra (1913). The success of the film inspired Indian filmmakers, and by the 1930s, the industry was producing more than 200 films every year. Alam Ara (1931) catapulted Indian cinema from the silent era into the world of sound and music. In fact, the film garnered such a massive response in theaters that police were called to control the crowds.
The Great Depression, World War II, the Indian Independence Movement and the Partition Violence led to a steep drop in Bollywood films midway through the 20th century. Yet, when the industry began to reemerge, plots centering around social issues and the struggle for independence took center stage for years to come.
By the late 1950s, the first color films of the Bollywood were released. During this period, the films were defined by romantic musicals and melodramas. In the 1960s and early 1970s, romantic movies became meshed with action and violence, much to the audience's excitement. The mid-1990's saw a return to family-centric romantic musicals once again, yet with renewed gusto. The quality, cinematography, innovative story lines and technical quality of the filmmaking had grown to new heights throughout the 20th century. The 21st century brought immense popularity to the Bollywood, appealing to audiences of all backgrounds.
Learn more about the history and significance of Bollywood here.