C V Mathew- A Pioneer of Cinema Theatre in Thiruvalla

c v mathew photo

C V Mathew was popularly known as Sankaramangalthu Mathechen, a man of action who started the first cinema theatre (CVM Theatre) in Thiruvalla, India.

He was born on 30th May 1906 as the youngest son of  Varkey Varkey and Mariamma Varkey in Thiruvalla.

His father Varkey Varkey was popularly known as Varkey Vakeel Sankaramangalam and was one of the popular advocates from Thiruvalla in the late 1800s.

During his student life, C V Mathew was a passionate footballer and the captain of CMS College, Kottayam football team. 

An Arts graduate C V Mathew earned a Diploma in Dairy Farming from the Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh formerly Allahabad Agricultural Institute.

He was among the first batch that passed out from one of the top agriculture colleges in India.

C V Mathew worked as Manager at Travancore Forward Bank in Thiruvalla, a job he took up at the request of his brother-in-law M C Mathew Maliackal, Kottayam, who was the founder of Travancore Forward Bank.

He never settled in his comfort zone and was always discovering new fields to excel in life. C V Mathew had Textile shop and was the owner of Jai Hind Travels– famous bus service in Thiruvalla in those days.

His love for cinema led him to movie production and exhibition. As a co-producer, he produced popular Malayalam films like ‘Sasidharan’ in 1950 and ‘Lokaneethi’ 1952 with Swami Narayanan.

The film ‘Sasidharan’ starred by Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair, S P Pillai, Miss Kumari, N P Chellappan Nair, Nagavally R S Kurup and T R Omana, etc.

It’s the first Malayalam film adaptation of a popular stage play ‘Sashidharan B.A.’ or ‘Premavaichithryam’ authored by N P Chellappan Nair.

‘Lokaneethi’ -A film directed by R Velappan Nair, in this film actor Sathyan and actress B S Saroja, were in the lead roles along with other stars like S P Pillai and Kalaikkal Kumaran, etc.

Following his passion in movies C V Mathew established first cinema theatre (CVM Theatre) in the early 1950s in Thiruvalla, CVM was the abbreviation of his name C V Mathew.

In the mid-1960s, he started his second cinema theatre ‘Deepa Theatre’ in Thiruvalla. The ‘Deepa Theatre’ named after his granddaughter Deepa John.

‘Deepa Theatre’ slowly became a landmark building in Thiruvalla and the junction close to it became known today’s ‘Deepa Junction’.

Currently ‘Spencer’s Supermarket’ is running in the ‘Deepa Theatre’ building.

He was married from Kovoor family and had 5 children- four daughters and a son. His son George Mathew is an engineer retired from MRF Ltd. as Senior General Manager

Two daughters reside in the United States of America, one daughter is at Chennai and one is no more.

Presently C V Mathew’s house known as ‘CVM House’ near Cross Junction in Thiruvalla is restored and renovated by his grandson Mathew George, Director, MSS India.

The ‘CVM House’ is open to the public and it is running as a serviced or vacation villa.

He passed away on 23rd December 1979.


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