Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu

Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu
Raghupati Venkayya.jpg
Born (1869-10-15)15 October 1869
Died 15 March 1941(1941-03-15) (aged 71)
Nationality Indian

Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu (15 October 1869 – 15 March 1941) was an Indian artist and filmmaker known for his work in Telugu cinema.[1][2][3][4][5] He produced silent films and talkies. Starting in 1909, Naidu was involved in many aspects of Indian cinema's history, like travelling to different regions in Asia to promote film work. In 1912, he had built a permanent cinema named Gaiety Theatre which was the first in Madras to screen films on a full-time basis.

The Raghupati Venkaiah Award is an annual award incorporated into the Nandi Awards. It is considered Telugu cinema's highest award to recognize people for their lifetime achievements and contributions to the Telugu film industry.[6][7]


Early life

Venkaiah Naidu was born as the second son of an Indian Army official Subedar Appayya Naidu in Machilipatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India. His brother Raghupathi Venkataratnam Naidu was a famous educationalist and social reformer. His forefathers worked as Commanders in the Army of East India Company and Madras Army in Telaga Regiments. At the age of 18, he moved to Madras and started drawing pictures and carving sculptures at Mount Road and selling them. He then learned photography and started a photo studio.[8]


In 1909, he ordered a Chrono Mega phone, equipment that relates sounds with pictures, from John Dickinson & Co. To pay for the Chrono Mega phone valued Rs. 30,000, he rented out his photo studio. He shot 12 short films and exhibited them in Victoria Public Hall. He also travelled to Bangalore, Vijayawada, Sri Lanka, Rangoon and Pegu to exhibit his films.[9]

Theatre owner

In 1910, he established Esplanade Ten House to exhibit his films. In 1912, he constructed Gaiety Talkies on Mount Road, the first Indian-owned cinema theatre in Chennai. He later constructed Crown Theatre on Mint Street and Globe Theatre (later renamed as Roxcy) in Purasawalkam, Chennai. He also exhibited American and British films. Some of the first movies shown in his theatres were Million Dollar Mystery, Mysteries of Meera, Clutching Hand, Broken Coin, Raja's Casket, Peral fish, and Great Bard.

Film producer

In 1919, he started a production company called Star of East Films and a film studio called Glass Studio. He sent his son, Raghupati Surya Prakash Naidu, to study cinematography in London. Father and son made their first movie "Meenakshi Kalyanam" around actual locations of the Madurai Meenakshi temple. Later, they produced films like Gajendra Moksham, Mathsyavatharam, Nandanaar, and Bhishma Pratigna, the first Telugu mookie (i.e., movie with no playback voices).

Later career

In 1929, he was forced to sell his properties to pay off his debts. The Andhra Pradesh state government established the Raghupati Venkaiah Naidu Award, later changed to Raghupathi Venkaiah Award for lifetime contributors to the Telugu movie industry.[10]

Personal life

His only son, R. Prakash (Raghupathi Surya Prakash Naidu) was a photographer, portrait studio owner in Gopal street, T. Nagar.[citation needed]

In popular culture

Naresh plays the role of the director in the 2019 Indian biographical film, Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu. The film was directed by Babji and produced by Yellow Line Pictures.


As Producer

  • Meenakshi Kalyanam
  • Gajendra Moksham
  • Mathsyavatharam
  • Nandanaar
  • Bhishma Pratigya

See also


  1. ^ Bureau, Our. "Telugu film industry turns 80". @businessline. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  2. ^ India, The Hans (7 November 2019). "Naresh plays Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu". www.thehansindia.com. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  3. ^ "తెలుగు సినిమాకు మార్గదర్శి రఘుపతి వెంకయ్య". Samayam Telugu (in Telugu). 15 October 2016. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  4. ^ "Bharat Janani » Raghupati Venkaiah Naidu: The man who started it all". Archived from the original on 17 August 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  5. ^ "LIST OF NANDI, NTR And Raghupati Venkayya Awards". greatandhra.com.
  6. ^ "Telugu Cinema Celebrity - Raghupati Venkaiah Naidu".
  7. ^ "'Nijam cheppamantara, abaddham cheppamantara... '". The Hindu. 9 February 2007. Archived from the original on 29 May 2007. Retrieved 23 April 2007.
  8. ^ "Bharat Janani » Raghupati Venkaiah Naidu: The man who started it all". Archived from the original on 17 August 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  9. ^ "Why AP Government named an award after Raghupathi Venkaiah". Archived from the original on 29 October 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  10. ^ "Events - Fond Remembrance Of Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu - IndiaGlitz.com". IndiaGlitz.