Cinemas to reopen in eight cities of Pakistan starting October 1

Cinemas to reopen in eight cities of Pakistan starting October 1
Cinemas to reopen in eight cities of Pakistan starting October 1

After a long hiatus, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry has announced that cinemas will reopen in eight cities of Pakistan, starting October 1.

The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special initiatives Asad Umar. It was decided that restrictions due to Covid-19 would be eased in cities that have achieved the targeted vaccination rate.

These cities include, Gilgit, Skardu, Muzaffarabad, Mirpur, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Quetta, and Peshawar. Chaudhry tweeted to confirm the same, “Eight cities including Rawalpindi and Islamabad will be allowed to reopen cinemas starting October 1. We are hoping health authorities in Karachi and Lahore will increase vaccination drives so cinemas can reopen in their regions too.”

Taking to the micro-blogging site, Umar went on to reinstate that the “only way out of the Covid-19 pandemic [was] to get high percentage of citizens vaccinated.” So he also announced that as part of a strategy to reward vaccinated cities, there will be “higher restrictions on cities with low level of vaccination and on citizens who are not vaccinated,” also effective from October 1.

Just yesterday, as the world welcomed another James Bond film, Pakistanis started asking whether they’ll ever get to visit their local cinemas again. And while established actors like Fahad Mustafa, who aren’t entirely dependent on their films’ getting a live release to maintain their lifestyles, seemed hopeful, filmmakers like Nabeel Qureshi appeared to be becoming restless.

“James Bond premiere today at London. Hoping to see our cinemas back in action soon [as well]. The world is getting back to normal it’s a good sign!” tweeted Fahad, while Nabeel asked, “Cinemas kab khulengay (When will cinemas re-open)?”

But even when cinemas were looking to re-open in Pakistan earlier this year, everyone seemed to be turning a blind eye to the elephant in the room: Could a box office increasingly dependent on Bollywood get a new life through Hollywood and Pakistani films only?

On that note, it was also announced in India that cinemas in Maharashtra would reopen from October 22. The reopening across comes after 18 months of the box offices remaining shut in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, followed by the series of lockdowns since March 2020.


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