This government-sponsored cultural centre was inaugurated by Oscar-winning filmmaker Satyajit Ray on September 2, 1985. He was also one of its patrons and designed the emblem that has been affixed on the building facade. There are three large motion picture theatres here that can accommodate 1,324 people; one theatre screens only art films. A grand stage along with a seminar and conference hall are also part of Nandan. It is said to be the top cultural centre of East India and is patronised by the likes of actors Utpal Dutt and Anil Chatterjee. Several books including A Poet with a Camera, 100 Years of Cinema, Bengali Film Directory have been published by Nandan. It hosts numerous national and international film festivals, seminars, discourses and annual lectures, training courses, retrospectives and exhibitions. One will find live performances of theatre and dance happening here every single day. Located on St Paul's Cathedral Road, to the southeast of the Victoria Memorial, Nandan shares space with the Rabindra Sadan cultural centre, Sisir Mancha and the Academy of Fine Arts.

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