Moviegoers set to watch films on big screen after 32 years in Kashmir

It has been 32 years since Ashiq Ahmad, a movie buff, last saw a movie on the big screen in Kashmir, but with the opening of Kashmir’s first multiplex in the Sonawar area of Srinagar, he claims his wait is over.


“Every time I travelled outside of Kashmir, I made it a point to take my family to a movie theatre. There are fewer avenues of entertainment in Kashmir, but the reintroduction of cinema will undoubtedly address this issue,” said Ashiq said who is looking forward to the day when he could watch a movie at a cinema in Kashmir and reminisce about the good old days.

The 50-year-old claimed he had been following the progress of famous businessman Vijay Dhar’s plans to open Kashmir’s first multiplex since it was announced.


“I believe the wait is finally over!” he exclaimed.


Dhar, who also runs a reputable private school in the town, said that the multiplex would open to the public on Tuesday with a special screening of Aamir Khan’s ‘Lal Singh Chaddha’.


“Regular shows will start from September 30 when Vikram Vedha – Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan starrer movie will be screened. On Tuesday, Lal Singh Chaddha movie will be screened for a selected audience.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha is scheduled to inaugurate the ‘Inox’ multiplex in Srinagar on Tuesday.


The Dhar family and INOX, one of the nation’s major film distributors and theatre chains, worked together to create the multiplex.


Dhar said that they had done all preparations and Kashmir’s first multiplex would be thrown open on September 20 and the first show would be on September 30 when Hrithik Roshan-starred movie Vikram Vedha would be screened in the multiplex.


This multiplex would reintroduce movie-going in theatres after a three-decade break.

This multiplex has three cinemas with a total seating capacity of at least 520 people.


Superbly-built latest audio systems have been installed.


Youngsters would be drawn in by the multiplex’s numerous food outlets and other entertainment opportunities.


According to Dhar, the purpose of restoring cinema in Kashmir was to provide future generations with the same entertainment accessible throughout the country.


“This is for everyone to get entertained. Our children should be happy. They must also scream and holler. Except for sports and food, there is nowhere one can find entertainment,” he said.

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


Dhar said that, in addition to modern amenities, the multiplex’s design would incorporate elements of Kashmiri artisanship like papier-mâché and Khatamband ceiling.


He said food courts would be used to showcase local cuisine.