Vanishing Cinemas of Peshawar

Vanishing Cinemas of Peshawar

Vanishing Cinemas of Peshawar

The Provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa once used to be a hub for the Pashto film industry and Cinema centres as Cinemas were the only spots where people from all the walks of life including rich and poor used to come for watching Pashto and Hollywood movies and a single film used to run for 10 to 12 weeks as it was probably the only mean of entertainment.
However, the Pashto Cinema industry in KP and specifically in Peshawar has lost its battle of survival due to many reasons including the terrorist’s attacks on cinema houses, bad quality of film production, absence of a regular censor board on the provincial level and negligence of the government towards the revival of industry and this is the reason that many of the Cinema owners have converted their Cinemas halls into parking lots and shopping malls because they do not have any other source of income.
Meanwhile, many of those who are associated with the business is still optimistic about the future of the cinemas as they are of the view that the big screen cannot be a substitute for the movies seen on smartphones and other devices; but the government and the KP cultural department must help them in digitalis the Cinemas for the purpose to revive the industry.
While talking to Voice of KP owner of Arshad Cinema Arshad Khan said that people are blaming the bad quality of film production for the decline of the Cinema industry in Peshawar but it was a wrong perception. According to Arshid Khan, the terrorist’s attacks and negligence of the government were the reasons behind the issue.
While talking about the numbers of Cinemas in central Peshawar he said that there were more than 16 cinemas in Peshawar and the surrounding areas but now it is limited to seven and many of the famous Cinemas have been converted into shopping malls and parking lots.
Another local artist on the condition of anonymity told the Voice of KP that the Zia regime, the MMA government from 2002-08 and the continued militancy-hit the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had badly affected the Cinemas and film industry in the province this is the reason that people have lost touch with cinemas.
Many of those associated with the cinema industry believe that the absence of a proper censor board in the province was also one of the main reasons for such state of the Picture Houses in the province and up to some extent, the absence of censor board is the failure of the successive provincial governments in the province.
It is pertinent to mention here that after the 18th amendment the province was also responsible for introducing cultural policy and other relevant laws including the formation of censor board but non of the successive governments including the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) have failed to pay any heed towards the matter policy-making or any other cultural Bill.

Mansoor Ali
The writer writes for different websites


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