Big screen opened in Kashmir after 32 years
The big screen opened in Kashmir after 32 years: Theater will run even in snowfall, arrangement of heater will return to the valley as before 1990
70-year-old Bashir Ahmed Bhat will go to the cinema hall after 32 years. He had such a craze for films that from his school days he used to go to the movies almost daily. At the Palladium or Shiraz cinema with friends, they used to get tickets for hours in lines. Lt Governor Manoj Sinha inaugurated the INOX Multiplex on Tuesday. After this, the film 'Lal Singh Chaddha' was shown to a select few.
The multiplex will be opened to the general public on September 30 with the film 'Vikram Vedha'. 520 people will be able to watch movies on its 3 screens. According to Bhat, there were 15 cinema halls in the Valley till the 1980s. 9 were in Srinagar alone. But terrorism ruined everything in the 90s. All cinema halls in the valley were closed. Some hotels were built and some hospitals. Some became army camps.
This will be the first time that the generation born after 1990 will see films on the big screen in Srinagar. The family of Vijay Dhar, a Kashmiri businessman who opened the cinema hall in association with Inox, used to run a Broadway cinema hall before the terrorist era. He runs a big school in Srinagar.
He says I remember how Kashmiris used to stand in long lines for tickets. Kashmiris were crazy about films. The show used to go housefull. But then the cinema halls of Srinagar were closed. They started going to Jammu to watch movies. Dhar says there can be cinema halls in Jammu, then why not in Kashmir? Why do Kashmiri youth go to Jammu to watch movies?
Vijay Dhar says that even in the snowfall of Kashmir, movies can be seen, so a heater has been arranged in the hall. The interior of the hall is decorated with Kashmiri art. Especially the decoration of the roofs has been done in the Khatamband design. It is decorated with wooden moulds. This is the traditional method in Kashmir.
Madhu Ghori, 47, says, "My grandfather opened the first Palladium cinema hall in Kashmir. Closed in 1990. It is expected that more cinema halls-multiplexes will now open in the valley. This is an emotional moment for us Kashmiris. Even more so for those who have seen Kashmir before 90.
Lt Governor Manoj Sinha said, 3 decades of cinema hunger of Kashmiris will now be satisfied. Cinema will inspire them to think big and dream big. We are planning to start a 100 seater cinema hall in every district of Kashmir. However, some people in the Valley are also apprehensive about the terror attacks.
In 1999, the then Farooq Abdullah government tried to open a cinema hall. 3 theatres were allowed to start screening films. But a terrorist attack took place during the first show at Regal Cinema, in which 1 was killed and 12 others were injured. All theatres were closed again.
Businessman Vijay Dhar says the opening of a multiplex in Srinagar after 32 years is a tribute to Raj Kapoor. He had come to Kashmir for the shooting of the film 'Barsaat'. The Lt Governor said the 1965 blockbuster Shammi Kapoor starrer Beast was screened at the Broadway Cinema Hall. Shammi Kapoor loved Kashmir so much that he had asked to conduct his last rites near Dal Lake.