The recently inaugurated National Museum of Indian Cinema is the first of its kind. Housed in two buildings in the Films Division complex, it has a public space for visitors to relax and sit in. Gulshan Mahal, a beautifully restored nineteenth-century heritage building, has nine sections and take visitors through 100 years of Indian cinema. It's collection consists of several documents, posters, models/dioramas, multimedia kiosks and artefacts. Spread across two floors, the nine sections include: The Origin of Cinema, Cinema Comes to India, Indian Silent Film, Advent of Sound, The Studio Era, The Impact of World War II, Creative Resonance, New Wave and Beyond and Regional Cinema. However, the building isn’t disability friendly, as one has to climb wooden stairs to get to the first floor.
The New Museum Building has four fully air-conditioned exhibition halls spread across four floors (accessible through escalators and lifts). These include—Level 1: Gandhi and Cinema; Level 2: Children’s Film Studio; Level 3: Technology, Creativity and Indian Cinema; Level 4: Cinema across India. The children’s film studio is a must visit for young audiences and school groups as they provide children with an immersive experience, using interactive elements like a stop-motion animation studio, a sound effects and mixing studio, a photo studio and more. Instead of a tour guide, the museum has digital kiosks with old telephone receivers for certain exhibits, which one can pick up and listen to in three different languages. There are also timelines, wherever necessary, that place India on the world map. (Do not miss the section on Satyajit Ray and his cameras!).