Kashmir Gets Its First Multiplex. This Film Screened At Opening
Kashmir has rediscovered cinema. A special showing of Laal Sigh Chaddha, starring Aamir Khan, marked the opening of Srinagar’s first multiplex and put an end to movie fans’ three-decade wait to see their favourite actors on the big screen.
In Srinagar, the Lieutenant General of Jammu and Kashmir opened an Inox multiplex with more than 500 seats. He added that a movie city would soon be built in the Valley. After militancy broke out in Kashmir in 1989, all forms of entertainment were shut down. Extremist organisations forced the shutdown of theatres and attacked anybody who disobeyed their orders.
The history of Kashmiri cinema is as old as Indian Bollywood. In Srinagar, the first cinema theatre, the “Kashmir Talkie,” debuted in 1932. Two years before Mumbai’s Bombay Talkies film studio was established, it was renamed to Palladium cinema.
Eventually, Kashmir saw the development of Regal cinema and several additional theatres. A lot of them formerly showed Hollywood movies as well.
However, due to the rise in militancy supported by religious extremism, all theatres were closed. Due to fear and a shortage of moviegoers in the Valley, several attempts to restore theatres were unsuccessful.
Inaugurating the multiplex today, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha criticised previous administrations for not doing enough to resurrect theatres in Kashmir.
According to Mr. Sinha, “They (leaders) go to Delhi and other nations as well to watch movies, but nothing was done to revitalise cinema for the people.”
He said that a recent filming boom in Kashmir resulted in the creation of a film metropolis.
“We have located the land and are in constant communication with the populace. There are specific guidelines for locals under the new film policy. We’re giving local filmmakers incentives “said he. The Lieutenant Governor opened two multifunctional movie theatres in Pulwama and Shopian on Sunday. In 20 districts of Jammu and Kashmir, he claimed, these movie theatres would be opened as part of their youth outreach campaign.
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