Kashmir All Set To Get Its First Multiplex Cinema Hall After Three DecadesJune 24, 2020 17:00
(Image source from: channel3000.com)
A three – storey multiplex with a multi-screen movie theatre will bring back hope and entertainment to Kashmiri’s by March next year. It will be nearly after a decade that Bollywood movies are played on big-screen in Srinagar.
Before terrorism emanated the ‘Heaven on Earth’, Srinagar city alone, in the 1990’s had 10 theatres including Neelam, Broadway, Shah and Firadus, the popular ones. They were forced to be shut by terrorists in the 90’s. Later, in 1999, the government of Jammu and Kashmir opened Neelam, Broadway, and Regal cinema halls and started their operations. Just after the commencement, the terrorists launched an attack and injured many viewers which forced the government to lock them again for good.
The imminent three-storey multiplex is a first of its kind in Kashmir to bring back the cinema lovers back to the big screens. However, the license to operate these screens will only be given after the construction completes.
It is being built by M/S Taksal Hospitality Pvt Ltd near the Badami Bagh containment area and adjacent to the then Broadway cinema hall. Vijay Dhar of Taksal group said to media that his company has got NOC for establishing a multiplex and it is a deliberate attempt to entertain the youth of Kashmir.
While speaking to The Hindu he said,” I feel that since the 1990s we haven’t done anything to address the youth of Jammu and Kashmir. There is a major change in terms of what they are exposed to in the world and what other young people have access to, we must consider that. A short time ago, at DPS we had held a music festival, Shireen, inviting 180 schools; the finale was attended by 9000 people in a city like Srinagar. So, there is definitely a desire for music, cinema, the arts and sports”.
Film fraternity of Kashmir appreciated the move Vijay Dhar. Kashmiri director Mushtaq Ali said,” I welcome the move. Kashmir needs this type of facilities, it can bring Bollywood back to Kashmir as most of the Bollywood films are shot here”.
Lately, many old theatres in the valley are turned into camps for security forces or converted into hospitals. The success of the multiplex will determine the future of cinema halls in Kashmir. As a geographical land struggling with the imposition of the dissolution of Article 370 and 35A, the return of cinema halls is a significant development to the valley.
While the move to build a multiplex seems a way forward to the cinema lovers, the twitterati’s have given mixed reviews to the decision. While some of them felt multiplex cinema halls are fruits to democracy, the others stressed that ‘they need identity and rights but not wine and cinema’.
By Gayatri Yellayi