Moneycontrol
Last Updated : Jun 23, 2020 05:59 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

First multiplex in Kashmir: Film fraternity expects business to thrive

The lack of screens is also one big reason behind people watching pirated content in the Valley. But the scenario could change with more focus on the movie business in Kashmir.

Representative image
Representative image

It is ironical that Kashmir, which has been a favourite shooting destination for filmmakers, is yet to get a multiplex. But the good news is that the Valley will finally get one in the summer of 2021.

According to reports, the multiplex in Kashmir is being built by M/S Taksal Hospitality Pvt Ltd, owned by Vikas Dhar and Vishal Dhar in Srinagar's Badami Bagh Cantonment area.

The permission to set up a multiplex was granted last week.

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In addition, owner of single screen theatre Naaz Cinema has also got permission to revamp the property into a multiplex.

"A multiplex in Kashmir will encourage more exhibitors to setup more screens there and as a fraternity too, we want more screens to come up in the Valley so that audiences can enjoy films in theatres. People of Kashmir love movies and this will drive the movie business," said film and trade business analyst Girish Johar.

He said the multiplex will be a two-screen property with a seating capacity of 150 to 200.

"Since 1999 when theatres had opened briefly, no films in Kashmir have released on the big screen and this is why a multiplex in the Valley is a positive step. Local content like films which are based in Kashmir will find flavour along with all the national content," added Johar.

While there is no dearth of movie lovers in the strife-torn Valley, there are too few cinema halls to cater to this demand.

In Kashmir, there are reportedly two to three functional single-screen theatres. As many as 15 theatres in Kashmir were forced to shut shop in the 90s due to militant threats.

Three cinema halls had reopened in the Valley in 1996 — Regal, Neelam and Broadway — with the support of the National Conference-led government. However, three years later, Regal witnessed militant attacks, and the theatre pulled down the shutters once again.

The lack of screens is also one big reason behind people watching pirated content in the Valley. But the scenario could change with more focus on the movie business in Kashmir.

In fact, last year Carnival chain of cinemas on August 7 had announced opening up of 30 screens in Jammu and Kashmir, and five in Ladakh.

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First Published on Jun 23, 2020 05:53 pm
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