Srinagar, September 21 - For the first time in nearly 30 years, the movie-going experience returns to Kashmir as multiple theaters have been inaugurated by Lt governor Manoj Sinha. The government of India is adamant to open theaters in every district of J&K as a part of the socio-economic revolution in the valley.
While inaugurating the 520-seater multiplex theatre in Srinagar, Sinha said land has been identified for developing a film city in the Union Territory (UT). It is Kashmir's first INOX multiplex with a total capacity of 520 persons.
Congratulating the people, Vijay Dhar, owner of the multiplex and INOX Group on the occasion, the Lt Governor said that a major socio-economic revolution is sweeping through J&K in the last 3 years and it is a reflection of a new dawn of hope, dreams, confidence, and aspirations of people, he added.
A couple of days ago, Sinha inaugurated multipurpose cinema halls in the South Kashmir districts of Shopian and Pulwama. Films like "RRR" and "Bhaag Mikha Bhaag" were shown to the people, including students of their respective districts. It was their first-time movie-watching experience in theaters and the joy of it was clearly visible on their faces.
The Lt Governor observed that the opening of multipurpose cinema halls in Shopian, Pulwama, and the first-ever multiplex cinema hall in Srinagar marks the revival of cinema culture in the Kashmir Valley 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 realize it", he said.
"Young generations have a strong urge to see a better society, to learn about other cultures, to become part of an interdependent world. And, it is the responsibility of the administration to provide them opportunities and support. The new cinema halls and ongoing film shootings will renew the beautiful bond between Jammu Kashmir and the Indian film industry.
"New film policy has been rolled out with special provisions and incentives for encouraging local youth to take up the film as a career. We are in talks with various stakeholders and have identified the land for developing Film City in the UT and the facility will come up in the UT soon", Sinha added.
Siddharth Jain, Executive Director, INOX Group, while speaking on the occasion, said that the launch of the new multiplex theatre in Kashmir will make the region to be a part of the country's creative economy and contribute to strengthening the soft power of the country.
The 3-screen INOX multiplex will be opened next week with Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan-fronted "Vikram Vedha" and Mani Ratnam's mega movie "PS1", which are scheduled to release on September 30.