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With inauguration of  first multiplex in Srinagar, cinema is back in Kashmir after 33 years

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha inaugurating the multiplex in Srinagar on Tuesday (Images courtesy: Twitter/@OfficeOfLGJandK)

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Tuesday inaugurated an Inox multiplex, bringing back cinema to the terror-ravaged Kashmir valley after a long wait of 33 years. Kashmir’s first multiplex has come up at Shivpora neighbourhood of Srinagar where the iconic Broadway Cinema stood for decades till all forms of entertainment were banned by the militants in December 1989.

The inauguration began with the national anthem before Sinha dedicated the multiplex to the entertainment deprived people of Kashmir. A visual montage displayed Bollywood’s long- time associates with the valley.

LG Sinha peeped into the history of the Bollywood film productions in Kashmir alongside reminiscences of the Indian artistes shooting in the valley in the halcyon decades of the 1950s through 1980s. He spoke in particular about Shammi Kapoor’s passionate tryst with Kashmir and said how the legendary hero’s will of the immersion of his mortal ashes in the famous Dal Lake was fulfilled after his death.

 Sinha spoke about the salient features of the Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory’s first Film Policy which he introduced in April 2021 for revival of the film and entertainment industry in Kashmir. He announced that his government had identified land for J&K’s Film City on which work would start in the near future. The policy envisages huge incentives and promotions to the people who would contribute in different capacities for the revival and development of the film industry in Kashmir.

Sinha said that just two days back he had inaugurated two mini cinema theatres for the benefit of the local youths in the one-time terror hubs of Pulwama and Shopian in southern Kashmir. He announced that similar mini theatres were coming up in all the ten districts in the valley under the UT Government’s “Mission Youth”.

Chairman and editor-in-chief of India TV, Rajat Sharma, and Chairman of Essel Group, Subhash Chandra, who founded Zee TV in 1992, were present on the occasion as the chief guests.

Rajat Sharma recalled how actor-producer Salman Khan was pessimistic of the revival of Bollywood in Kashmir during the days of the shooting of his film “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” at Sonmarg in 2015. “There were security issues and no internet. The atmosphere was not reassuring. Salman told me how hard it was to shoot a film in Kashmir. Today, I will call him and tell him how our friend Manoj Sinha ji had changed history by inaugurating Kashmir’s first cinema after 33 years”, Sharma asserted.

Later, Aamir Khan’s current release “Laal Singh Chhaddha” was screened for the invited audience. According to the multiplex owner Vijay Dhar’s family members, Inox would start the commercial operations from 30 September when everybody would be free to buy a ticket and enjoy a film at any of the three theatres at the complex.

Also Read: In historic move, two cinemas thrown open in Kashmir after 40 years