New Delhi: As the terrorists are getting eliminated in the Kashmir Valley, the conditions are also becoming happier. Most cinemas in Kashmir were closed due to decrees issued by terrorist groups in the 90s. But now very soon Bollywood movies will be seen on the screen of a three-storey multiplex cinema house in Srinagar which is likely to start by March next year.
Nearly three decades after almost all the cinema halls in Srinagar were closed, a three-storey multiplex received permission for the screening of films this month and theatres are expected to start by next March. However, the license will be issued only after the completion of construction. The multiplex will have three cinema halls being built exactly along with Srinagar’s famous 90s Broadway cinema. The first multiplex in Kashmir is M / S Taksal Hospitality Pvt Ltd Company in Badami Bagh Cantonment area of Srinagar. This Dhar family company also runs Delhi Public School branches in Srinagar.
Vijay Dhar, who declined to speak on camera, said, “We felt that the youth here have never got anything in the last 30 years. These youth have not got any entertainment. Basically a child or a youth here has the same facility It should be available in other places. My aim is to entertain the youth.”
People associated with film making have also welcomed the move and said that Kashmir needs such facilities.
Though Neelam and Broadway continued to operate under tight security for a few years, there was a lack of audience due to security reasons and eventually, they had to be closed as well.
Most of the cinema halls of Kashmir have been either makeshift camps for security forces or have been converted into hospitals. Now the success of this new multiplex depends on whether the rest of the cinema halls will be opened in Kashmir or not.
Kashmiri filmmaker Mushtaq Ali said, “I welcome the move. Kashmir needs this type of facilities. This can bring Bollywood back to Kashmir as most Bollywood films are shot in Kashmir. Kashmir’s Bollywood I have an old relationship. I am waiting for when the cinema hall will start and I will see the first show.”
Prior to the 90s, Srinagar city alone had 10 cinema halls running Firdaus, Shiraz, Khayam, Naz, Neelam, Shah, Broadway, Regal and Palladium, which mostly ran Bollywood films. With the spread of terrorism in Kashmir, terrorist organizations had closed theatres. Then in 1999, the Farooq Abdullah government tried to open theatres again and reopened three Srinagar theatres Regal, Neelam and Broadway. But with their opening, the terrorists attacked them again and one viewer died in the explosion during the first show in Regal Cinema. 12 people were also injured in this attack. After this, the hall was closed again.