After a long thirty-year absence, cinema is returning to the Kashmir valley. The first multiplex in Srinagar City will open soon, giving Kashmir’s young people a new entertainment option. After the valley became a terrorism hotspot in the early 1990s, theaters in the area were forced to close their doors. There were about 15 movie theaters in Kashmir a few decades ago, but they were all forced to close due to terrorism.
The new multiplex in Srinagar’s Shivpora district will have three screens and seating for approximately 520 people. The multiplex looks and operates like any other, but it was designed with a Kashmiri flair. Traditional elements, such as paper mache designs and ceilings covered in traditional Kashmiri ‘Khatamband’ embroidery, have been incorporated by the owners. According to reports, the multiplex will open to the public in September.
“My parents devised the plan, which we all agreed on as a family. We realized at dinner that night that no one had mentioned children’s entertainment. We narrowed our focus after much deliberation to cinema, a medium with deep roots in Kashmir that we felt compelled to introduce to the valley. From the time we started making plans, it took us about three to four years to get here. There are 520 seats in the auditorium and three projection systems “Vikas Dhar, the multiplex’s owner, made the claim.
There were many movie theaters in Kashmir until the early 1990s, when terrorism in the region forced them all to close. Following the terrorist attacks of 1999 and 2000, the government abandoned plans to reopen a few movie theaters. There was still no showing in the cinemas.
The ‘Broadway,’ one of the valley’s oldest movie theaters, was owned by the Dhar family. It was also open for a short time before closing for good. Patron security is one of these theaters’ top priorities. The owners of the multiplex, on the other hand, insist they are unconcerned about public backlash because their actions are motivated by a desire to entertain young people.
We haven’t done anything here with any sort of business ideology in mind, and we haven’t even used our heads. It eliminates any anxiety or stress associated with the cardiovascular system because it comes directly from the heart. Definitely, unequivocally, that is the case. The Indian film industry and the Kashmiri film industry have a long history of collaboration. The Indian film industry has recognized the valley and its residents. And I believe it is critical that ties between the two places be renewed; this is just the beginning of what I hope will be an influx of Kashmiri filmmakers to the United States. The valley is home to many talented filmmakers “which Vikas supplemented
When word spread that Srinagar had opened its first multiplex theater, people from all over the valley began contacting the theater’s owners to learn how they, too, could open a theater or cinema in their own towns.
“Many valley residents have contacted us to learn what steps need to be taken to reopen movie theaters. “I have also received a significant amount of cooperation from the government,” Vikas claims.
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