Merry Christmas: Is Regal Hall a Real Movie Theater? Is Jupiter an Actual Bakery?

‘Merry Christmas,’ the Hindi/Tamil mystery thriller film, charts an intriguing story that occurs over the course of one peculiar Christmas Eve that remains ripe with mystery and maybe even murder. Back in town after years, Albert finds his paths crossing with Maria, a beautiful and enigmatic woman who is the mother of a young, non-verbal daughter. Following their chance meeting, the duo ended up spending their evening in each other’s company, indulging in drinks and dancing. However, as midnight nears, their dream-like time together turns into a nightmare as mystifying revelations come out into the open.

Despite the film’s serene, free-flowing setup, the storyline remains grounded in reality through authentic characters shaped by their rich, substantial experiences. Thus, as the narrative takes the viewers back in time to the streets of Mumbai, when it was still called Bombay, Albert & Maria’s journey must have compelled viewers to wonder if some of their narrative pit-stops, such as the Regal Hall and Jupiter Bakery, have any basis in reality.

Regal Cinema, Mumbai’s Iconic Theater

Within the fictional narrative in ‘Merry Christmas,’ Regal Hall—the theater where Maria and her daughter, Annie, run into Albert during an ‘Adventures of Pinocchio’ screen— is an actual theater from real life. The Theater, known as the Regal Cinema, a memorable fixture in Mumbai’s Colaba Causeway, saw its opening in the 1930s. Since then, it has been a place of wonder for cinephiles around the city and beyond.

The old-school cinema sports a single-screening experience, one of the last of its kind in the rapidly modernizing industry. Yet, since its inception, the cinema has seen some changes, notably the incorporation of shops within the building. In 2022, the establishment ran a series of screenings of old classic films, such as Martin Scorsese’s ‘Raging Bull’ and Wong Kar Wai’s ‘In The Mood For Love’ restored for the new generation.

The same year, Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, founder of the Film Heritage Foundation, discussed the historic landmark and said, “Regal has an old-style screen with a larger aspect ratio. It is a temple for cinema.” As such, within the narrative of ‘Merry Christmas,’ Regal Cinema, in all its old-time glory, establishes the film’s period-setting while also paying homage to the art and history of filmmaking.

Maria’s Family Owned Jupiter Bakery

Unlike Regal Cinema, which connects the fictionality of ‘Merry Christmas’ to an aspect of reality, Jupiter Bakery, Maria’s family business, performs the opposite task and remains a fictional detail created to serve the narrative. After Albert and Maria’s chance meeting at the restaurant, followed by a more deliberate one at the cinema, the former offers to walk the woman and her kid home.

Consequently, Jupiter Bakery, situated on the ground floor of the building that houses Maria’s apartment, comes into the narrative. Initially, the bakery only seems like an innocuous detail about Maria’s life— to flesh out her character. However, the bakery ends up playing a significant role in the characters’ fate once their night takes a steep turn. Therefore, Jupiter Bakery, armed with a purely narrative function, remains a fictional location without any ties to a real-life bakery.

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