Years ago, then matinee idol Shammi Kapoor sang ‘Deewana hua baadal’ in Kashmir ki Kali that was shot in Kashmir. Almost all Shammi Kapoor films of the time were shot extensively in the valley. But for two decades now, Kashmiris have been elusive to the idea of going to a cinema, due to insurgency and various other developments.
Today, Kashmiris are a happier lot. The famous multiplex chain Inox has opened a multi-screen building in Srinagar. After 23 years, cinema has returned to Indian-administered Kashmir. Manoj Sinha who is the governor of Kashmir inaugurated the multi-plex, which is a huge step forward for the locals, especially those in their growing up years.
And the first movie that was screened at the multi-plex was Aamir Khan’s Laal Singh Chaddha. Now, the local government intends to open cinemas in all the districts of Kashmir, bringing entertainment back into the lives of the strife-torn region.
The multiplex happens to be a 520-seater that has been opened by Inox in partnership with local businessman Vijay Dhar. Vijay’s idea was to bring entertainment and new technology to the Valley where youth barely had any sources of simple, plain entertainment without any biased tones.
Ironically, Kashmir used to have multiple cinema halls prior to its closure in the 1990s. While some were turned into Indian security camps fenced with razor wire, others were turned into hospitals and shopping complexes. Cheers to all cinema lovers in Kashmir!
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