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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Cinema hall returns in Kashmir after 32 years

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On Tuesday, 20th September, Manoj Sinha, Lieutenant Governor, Jammu and Kashmir, inaugurated the Inox multiplex in the valley, following which a few select people watched the movie Lal Singh Chaddha in the movie hall. The multiplex will start operating for all the people from 30th September, with the movie Vikram Vedha. 520 people will be able to watch movies in the 3 screens of the multiplex.

Till the 1980s, the valley had 15 cinema halls, out of which 9 were in Srinagar alone, but the terrorism rampant during the 1990s ravaged everything, and all the movie halls in the Kashmir valley were shut down. Some were turned into hotels while others were made hospitals, and some, military camps.

It will be the first time that the generation born after 1990 will watch movies on the big screen in Srinagar. The family of Kashmiri businessman, Vijay Dhar, who has opened the cinema hall with Inox, used to operate the Broadway Cinema Hall before the time of terrorism in Kashmir. Dhar also runs a big school in Srinagar.

Dhar recalls how the people of Kashmir loved watching movies and used to stand in long queues for movie tickets, and the cinema halls used to be house full. But then, the movie halls of Srinagar were shut down and the people started to going to Jammu to watch movies. He added that if Jammu can have cinema halls, then why can’t Kashmir, and why should Kashmiri youth go to Jammu to watch movies.

So that movies can be watched comfortably during the Kashmiri snowfall, the cinema hall has the provision of heaters. The insides of the hall have been decorated using Kashmiri art, and the roofs have especially been decorated using the ‘khatamband’ design, which involves decoration using wooden molds, and it is the traditional art of Kashmir.

Sonakshi Datta
Sonakshi Datta
Journalist who wants to cover the truth which others look the other way from.

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