SRINAGAR: A prominent Kashmiri Pandit businessman is taking a bold step as he is set to unveil Kashmir’s first-ever multiplex in the Sonwar area of Srinagar.
The move comes more than three decades after the terrorists shut down all cinema halls in the valley. And the Dhar family, which owned the now defunct Broadway Cinema Hall, is at the forefront of renewed hope.
The multiplex is the collaborative project of the Dhar family and INOX, one of the top film distributors and film exhibitors in the country. The multiplex will be open to the public in September this year.
The movie theatres were forced to close soon after Pakistan-sponsored terrorism reared its ugly head in the early 90s. A few people, including Dhars, attempted to revive the cinema halls in 1999 with ‘Neelam’, ‘Regal’ and Broadway in Srinagar. However, they were once again forced to close down following terror attacks on cinema halls across the valley.
Patriarch Vijay Dhar, the famous educationist who also runs Delhi Public School in Srinagar, said he would love to see families come and watch the latest Bollywood movies.Dhar said that the purpose of the multicomplex is to provide the youth with the same recreational facilities as they get in the rest of the country.
The multiplex has three cinema halls with a seating capacity of 520 people. It wears a distinct Kashmiri look, with wood-carved khatambandh being used in the lobbies.
The multiplex aims to provide a wholesome family experience with food courts as well as entertainment facilities to attract children.
Dhar’s son Vikas, said, “We will be hiring local talent who can manage the place. We want to promote our brand. And there can’t be a better brand than Kashmir in the whole world.” “Very soon, people will be able to experience 3D movies on the screen,” he added.