Moving eastwards, the next major theatrical hub is Bombay, known today as Mumbai. Known as "urbs prima in Indis", or India's foremost city, it has been a powerhouse of cultural production for 150 years. Around 1900, Bombay was already a cosmopolitan city with a population of around 1 million. Many languages were spoken and different religions practiced. Western-style theater on the Indian subcontinent originated in Bombay. Because of its size, it was a popular destination for touring actors and companies. But its real importance lies with the Parsi community, who after 1850 quickly recognized the potential of theater both for educational, reformist and commercial purposes. The Parsis of Persian origin were successful merchants and typical intermediaries or cultural brokers. They mediated between the English colonial administration and India's multireligious and multilingual population. Between 1850 and 1900, Parsis adapted the European proscenium stage, the genres of melodrama, tragedy and comedy, and mixed them with Indian mythological stories to produce a remarkable and commercially successful theater that traveled all over the Indian subcontinent. As Bombay developed from a colonial port into a major industrial center, the city's theater houses in their specific urban locations became indices of emerging social and cultural formations. The three areas in which theater houses were built in Bombay formed distinct locations in the urban landscape. Whereas downtown, the Bombay Green and Victoria Terminus areas, were each hubs where commercial and civic activity converged, Grant Road, to the north of the original fort area, was a busy, crosstown thoroughfare. As the city expanded to the north, the entertainment district shifted to accommodate its growing public in the so-called Native Town. The Parsis built theaters in the city to cater for their own troops as well as for touring European companies. I want us to look at one particular theater more closely because its history and transformations represent three stages of theatrical globalization, theater, cinema, and heritage. This building is the Royal Opera House located not far from the original Grant Road Theater. Built between 1911 and 1915 by Maurice Bandmann and a wealthy Parsi coal merchant, Jehangir Framji Karaka, the Royal Opera House in Mumbai is a landmark building. Once almost derelict, today it is a category one heritage building in the process of being restored back to its former function as a theater and opera house. It underwent three phases in its function as a cultural contact zone. When it was finally completed in 1915, it was considered, and I quote: "The most palatial edifice of its kind in the East." When it was first built, it functioned as a multi-purpose theater. This also included the then new Kinemacolor technology. It hosted grand opera, drama, musical comedy, amateur dramatics, charity concerts, ballet dancers, boxing championships, major European companies, but also Gujarati and Parsi troupes. It also served as venue for political rallies. Mahatma Gandhi spoke here in 1934. When it was built, the area was a high-class residential suburb, and the theater helped to turn it into a cultural hub. Music schools sprang up and musicians and performers relocated here. It gave the whole precinct its name, Opera House. In 1936, it was renovated and turned into a cinema. Throughout India, colonial theaters underwent similar transformations. By the early 1990s, it had fallen to disrepair and was closed. Slowly, it began to decay until it was in danger of being demolished. Thanks to active advocacy, the building was placed on the World Monuments Fund watch list, and received a grade A heritage status. Today, it is being renovated with the aim of turning it back to its original state as a theater and opera house.