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Will silver screen return to Kashmir after JK reorganization?
10/18/2019 10:35:41 PM
Early Times Report
srinagar, Oct 18: A new era is about to begin in the state if the advertisements issued by the state Information Department over the past two months about state's reorganization are any indicator.
The JK Reorganisation Act is scheduled to come into force on October 31. There administration has promised massive development in health, education and tourism sector in particular. Outside investment in various fields is also expected. Some people see it as a beginning of return of silver screen to Kashmir.
The cinema halls, it is in place to mention here were closed down in 1990 with the commencement of militancy.
Perceived as a sign of normality, former state government headed by Dr Farooq Abdullah tried his best to reopen the cinema halls in 1997. Incentives were also announced to lure businessmen within and outside the state. A Jammu based business tycoon got the Broadway cinema hall reconstructed in Badami Bagh Cantonment. Amid much fanfare the hall was thrown open. Initially the theater attracted a number of people but massive frisking and security in and around the hall adversely affected the business. The fatal blow was dealt in 1999 when fidayeen attacked the headquarters of 15 Corpse. People inside the hall watching a movie was detained inside the hall for the night. The owner called it a day and Broadway was closed down.
In the vicinity of the civil secretariat, Neelam cinema continued to attract some people. However, the cinema owner chose to close down the cinema hall during 2010 agitation which claimed around 130 persons.
Regal cinema situated half a kilometer from city centre was also reopened around the same time in 1998. On the first day many people came to watch Pyaar koi khel nahi, Late in the evening when people were coming out of the hall, a grenade exploded near the main entrance of the hall. Two persons died and scores sustained injuries. The hall was closed down. Now it has been purchased by Cottage Industries Exposition (CIE) group.
Palladium in the heart of Lal Chowk is becoming history. It was gutted in a devastating fire that engulfed the hall during an encounter between militants and Border Security Force (BSF) men. Samad Talkies and Kapra Theatre in the apple town Sopore were consumed by flames during similar encounters.
Naaz (Sarai Bala), hosts a bakery and a sweets shop. Khayam (Nowpora) now houses a nursing home. Shiraz (Khanyar), Firdous (Hawal) and Shah (Qamarwari) have been occupied by the security forces.
The Governor, Satya Pal Malik gave nod for opening a cinema hall in Kashmir a fortnight after conclusion of ULB elections last year.
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