When there was no internet, no Netflix and no 200 plus entertainment channels on television, cinemas were the main source of entertainment for residents of Kodagu. In the 80s and 90s, movie going was merriment and an experience by itself. Many of us remember the joy of watching popular Kannada, Hindi and Tamil flicks at Kaveri Mahal and Basappa theatres in Madikeri.
However, it is sad to know that in 2018 only three cinema halls are functional in Kodagu. Kaveri Mahal in Madikeri, Woodland in Siddapur and Cineplex in Kushalnagar are the only existing theatres. Also, for company there is a cinema tent in Shanivarsanthe called Yashaswini.
MADIKERI: Did you know? Corporation Bank was the first to open a branch in Kodagu in 1934. The first branch was inaugurated in Madikeri (Mercara then) on November 14, 1934.
Till Corporation Bank started operations in Kodagu (Coorg then), the planter community and local businessmen had to go all the way either to Bangalore, Mysore or Madras for their banking needs. It remains a puzzle why it did not occur to other banks to open a branch in Madikeri till 1934. Some say it could be because many were frightened of rumours about the prevalence of malaria in Kodagu. After opening its first branch in Madikeri, the Corporation Bank opened its second branch in Virajpet on July 7, 1935.
Mid-1930s were crucial times. It was a period when trade was in the grip of depression with a steep fall in the prices of coffee and cardamom. Money was dear. But it was at this time the Corporation Bank started doing business of every banking description such as issuing of remittance both by mail and telegram, collecting and discounting cheques and bills, and accepting deposits, and also making advances on approved securities at reasonable rates of interest. Corporation Bank’s service to the planters and business community in Madikeri infused confidence in towns such as Virajpet, Somwarpet and Ponnampet. Subsequently, branches were opened in small towns across the district.
(Source: ‘Corporation Bank – A Corporate Journey’ by M V Kamath)