Moosa Moosa from The Avalon Group Photo: Facebook
DURBAN - Businessman and film doyen Moosa Moosa, the second generation of the Moosa film family, has passed away.

Moosa's father, AB Moosa Senior was a pioneer in the importing of Bollywood films to South Africa. Moosa Sr, co-founded The Avalon Group in 1939 and partnered with the 20th Century Fox.

The company has maintained a relationship with 20th Century Fox that spans close to 80 years.

The Avalon Group is the oldest independent cinema exhibition and entertainment company according to the South African.

The business which first started as a theatre in Central Durban boomed and in its heyday, The Avalon Group had 18 cinemas across the country.

During the time of the Group Areas Act, the Moosa family were forced to sell their properties and move from their Durban home. Their home was based in Musgrave, which the Group Areas Acr deemed a whites-only area.

Moosa in an interview with Property Magazine said that when the National Party started their expropriation process, they felt violated.

According to Moosa, they were given 90 days notice to sell their property at its market value. Moosa said that future buyer of the property would not offer a fair price because he knew that they were in a corner. Otherwise, the government would purchase it at a price that was lower than its value.

Moosa took over the family business in the 1960s after his father Moosa Sr passed away. During this time there was only one cinema that was operational.

Moosa Moosa who recently passed away bought sole ownership of The Avalon Group 1980s.

Things began to improve in the 1990s which was around the same time that Moosa Moosa's son AB Jr joined the company.

According to AB Jr, it was his father and himself that took it upon themselves to change the South African cinema landscape.

In 2007 Moosa Moosa was honoured by the South African Film and Television Industry with a lifetime achievement award.

Currently, the Avalon Group is run by AB Moosa Jr and has three cinemas in South Africa including Suncoast (Durban), Killarney (Johannesburg), and the Midlands area (Pietermaritzburg).

Anant Singh, the producer of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and Director of Videovision Entertainment, said that he was shocked to hear about Moosa's passing after recently meeting him.

Singh called the Moosa family pioneers of the entertainment and exhibition industry and recalled fond memories watching films in cinemas owned by the Moosa family.