Enthusiastic cinegoers witness joy of housefull cinemas after 3 decade wait

SRK's Pathaan brings back old memories of crowded cinemas in Kashmir
Enthusiastic cinegoers witness joy of housefull cinemas after 3 decade wait
Photo: Mubashir Khan/GK

Srinagar, Jan 27: While Kashmir is a significant element of the plot of Shahrukh Khan's movie Pathaan, the film has also brought back peoples' recollections of old memories of crowded movie theatres after three decades.

The INOX multiplex in Srinagar has seen completely packed shows for three days in a row.

Moviegoers are happy to watch their favorite superstar on the big screen in their hometown.

"Shahrukh Khan's movie has released after four years. It is worth waiting for as I was able to see SRK on big screen for the first time in Srinagar," said Ajaz Ahmad, a Srinagar resident.

According to Vijay Dhar, owner of the INOX multiplex in Srinagar, every showing of the Pathaan has been well attended.

According to him, the INOX was full on Thursday as well as Wednesday.

"Today we had two shows, and both were housefull. All the shows yesterday too were housefull," he said.

Dhar claimed that the shows were fully booked for three days in a row and that it was already a triumph because Shahrukh Khan was being shown in Srinagar on a large screen for the first time.

"The people in Kashmir are getting the opportunity to view a movie on a big screen for the first time after a gap of 32 years," he said, noting that the response of the populace was positive.

The official Twitter handle of INOX shared the news on Thursday night.

“Today, with #Pathaan frenzy gripping the nation, we are grateful to KING KHAN for bringing the treasured #HOUSEFULL sign back to the Kashmir Valley after 32 long years! Thank you #ShahRukhKhan (sic),” read the tweet.

Kashmir has shown "extraordinary love" to Pathaan and Shah Rukh Khan.

INOX Srinagar stated in a subsequent tweet that all shows were "housefull” on the first day, January 25.

After being closed for 32 years due to terror threats and attacks, cinema theatres in Kashmir reopened in September 2022 with a special screening of Aamir Khan's Lal Singh Chaddha.

Almost a dozen independent movie theatres operated in the Kashmir until late 1980s when they were forced to close due to threats from terror groups.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha in September last year inaugurated INOX multiplex theatre in Srinagar.

The LG said that the opening of multipurpose cinema halls in Shopian, Pulwama and the first-ever multiplex in Srinagar marked the revival of cinema culture in Kashmir after three decades.

“Culture is a way of life and cinema being the powerful medium of sharing thoughts and ideas reflects societal values and change. Cinema brings people together. Apart from entertainment it gives hopes, dreams and inspiration to youth to pursue their dreams till they realise it,” he said.

The INOX-designed multiplex has three auditoriums that can seat 520 people and Dolby sound systems are installed for better audio.

Prior to 1989, in Kashmir Bollywood wove its celluloid dreams in the sylvan settings of Kashmir which was one of the most sought-after destinations and filmmakers were saved from going abroad for lush expanses and snow-covered mountains for their outdoor shoots.

The Jammu and Kashmir Film Development Council (JKFDC) has taken several initiatives to promote J&K as a leading destination for shooting and production of all feature and non-feature content films, digital content, and television shows.

The list of deliverables for producers of incentivised films would include the incorporation of the logo of the Jammu and Kashmir Film Development Council, proof of which shall be enclosed along with the documents for subsidy.

According to the Film Policy, the J&K government is identifying catalogues and developing promising potential shooting locations that have aesthetic and cinematic appeal.

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