Jammu & Kashmir gets its first multiplex, reviving movie theatres after 30 years. The details are below.
A still from Laal Singh Chaddha; a file photo of a theatre
Last Updated: 11.22 AM, Sep 20, 2022
The long-awaited first multiplex in the valley opens after Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha's inauguration on Tuesday, giving the people of Kashmir their first opportunity to see movies on a big screen in more than three decades.
A special screening of Laal Singh Chaddha by Aamir Khan had the multiplex going. With the premiere of Vikram Vedha, starring Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan, regular shows will begin on September 30.
According to a News18 report, Laal Singh Chaddha was selected for the special screening due to public demand to see the Aamir Khan film, as he had filmed for the film in DPS at Srinagar.
Due to the growth in militancy, the theatres in the Valley had closed by 1990. There were attempts to revive the theatres from 1990 to 2018, but they were all in vain.
The popularity of Kashmir as a filming location nearly came to an end as insurgency began to spread over the area in the 1990s. Films like Raazi, Fitoor, Haider, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Shikara, and others have recently been filmed there.
The new multiplex's owner, Vijay Dhar, told News 18 that he hopes to resurrect the valley's long-gone tradition of family movie night. "Kashmir and Bollywood have long-standing links. Amitabh Bachchan, Dilip saab, and Dharmendra came to shoot here after Raj Kapoor's Barsaat, which was the first movie I can recall having been filmed here. They turned into my pals," he was quoted as saying by News 18.
Three sizable auditoriums of the multiplex, which was created by INOX in Srinagar, have a combined seating capacity of more than 500 people. The Dolby Atmos digital sound system has been installed in the auditorium to give audiences surround sound for the greatest movie experience. Additionally, a food court is being constructed for the multiplex's patrons.
In the twin, south Kashmir districts of Pulwama and Shopian, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha opened multipurpose movie theatres earlier on Sunday.
As per the government press release, cinema halls would soon be opened in Anantnag, Srinagar, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Doda, Rajouri, Poonch, Kishtwar, and Reasi. Three years after Jammu and Kashmir's removal from the scope of Article 370, a multiplex is being built in Kashmir, a region that has long been the target of terrorists from across the border.
One of the first casualties of the Valley's growing militancy was movie theatres. Through regional media, the Allah Tigers, a less well-known and now-defunct militant organisation, which was led by Air Marshal Noor Khan, imposed a ban on theatres and bars in the area in August 1989.
Extremists who advocated for an Islamic insurrection used the phrase from the Iranian revolution of 1979 to label movies "un-Islamic."
To restore the movie theatres, the Farooq Abdullah-led administration permitted Regal, Neelam, and Broadway to screen movies in 1999. But a terrorist incident took place at the opening performance at Regal, leaving one person dead and 12 others hurt. The businesses were once more closed as a result.
For a long time, Jammu, 300 kilometres away, was the closest movie theatre.
Of course, the locals could watch movies on their small screens thanks to DVDs, pen drives, and the internet. However, things have changed recently.
The Kashmir World Film Festival was established in 2015 and continues to welcome movie fans and creators from all around the world. A floating open-air theatre was built on Kashmir's Dal Lake in October 2021 to draw more tourists. And from June 15 to June 20 in Srinagar, the Jammu and Kashmir administration hosted the inaugural national film festival. Things will probably change once the new multiplex opens.
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