Nainital, the most favorite hill station of the North Indians has been a favorite location for Bollywood Filmmakers. The first Bollywood film shot in Nainital and nearby places was Madhumati released in 1958. But before that Guru Dutt and Zohra Sehgal, who were disciples of Uday Shankar, established the 'Uday Shankar India Cultural Centre', at Simtola, near Nainital.
In the 1950s, three future Bollywood stars were studying in Nainital: Amitabh Bachchan at Sherwood College. Danny Denzongpa at Birla Vidyamandir, Naseeruddin Shah at St Joseph’s College, and Film director Karan Johar’s mother was a hosteller at St Mary’s Convent.
B R Chopra's Gumrah (1963) starring Ashok Kumar, Sunil Dutt, and Mala Sinha was a super hit movie, Its song “In Hawao Mein, Inhi Fijazo Mein” was shot in Nainital.