New Delhi: After more than three decades, the people of Kashmir will get a chance to watch films on the big screen as the valley’s much-awaited first multiplex opens after Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha’s inauguration on Tuesday.
The multiplex will start with a special screening of Aamir Khan’s ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’. From September 30 regular shows will start with the screening of Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan’s ‘Vikram Vedha.’
A News18 report states that ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ was chosen for the special screening because of the requests from the public to run the Aamir Khan movie, as he had shot for the movie in DPS at Srinagar.
The theatres in the Valley had shut in 1990 due to the rise in militancy. From the period between 1990 and 2018, there were efforts to restart the theatres but all in vain.
Many Kashmiris travel outside the valley to enjoy films on big screens. Aaqib Bhat is one of them and is eagerly waiting for the opening of the first multiplex of Kashmir in the Sonawar area of the city.
“I travel once every three to four months to Delhi or Jammu to watch the latest Hindi movies on the big screen. Although all the movies are available on various platforms within no time, the feel and experience of watching it on a big screen is unmatched,” Bhat told PTI.
Kashmir was a preferred destination for moviemakers, which almost ended with the onset of militancy in the region during the 1990s.
In recent times, films like ‘Raazi’, ‘Fitoor’, ‘Haider’, ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, ‘Shikara’ and others were shot in the valley.
Owner of the new multiplex, Vijay Dhar told News 18 that he wants to revive the culture of watching movies together which is lost in the valley.
“Bollywood and Kashmir have old ties. The first film that I remember was shot here was Barsaat by Raj Kapoor and subsequently Amitabh Bachchan, Dilip saab and Dharmendra came to shoot here. They became my friends,” Dhar was quoted as saying by News 18.
While inaugurating the multiplex, Manoj Sinha said that a film city will be established in the valley in the coming months. “With the advent of new film policies in the state, more films are being shot here now. We will also be establishing a Film city in the coming months, allotment of land for the Film city is done already,” the governor was quoted as saying by ANI.
The multiplex, designed by INOX in Srinagar, has three large auditoriums with a seating capacity of more than 500 people at a time. The auditorium has been provided with the Dolby Atmos digital sound system giving the viewers surround sound for the best movie experience. A food court is also being made for the people visiting the multiplex
Multipurpose cinema halls inaugurated in Pulwama, Shopian
Earlier on Sunday, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha inaugurated multipurpose cinema halls in the twin south Kashmir districts of Pulwama and Shopian.
According to the government, cinema Halls in Anantnag, Srinagar, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Doda, Rajouri, Poonch, Kishtwar and Reasi will be inaugurated soon, said a government press release.
The setting up of a multiplex in Kashmir, which has seen terrorism for a long time from the other side of the border, comes three years after the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir.
(With inputs from agencies)