Employees call for protecting their livelihood as cinemas give deserted look
LAHORE: The tense Pakistan-India relations and the resultant unannounced ban on Indian movies reduced the number of cinema shows in 10 largest cities of the country to 33 per cent.
The work on under-construction projects has also stopped, which is a threat to the future of Rs 10 billion investment and jobs of thousands of people.
According to a survey, construction of new multiplexes in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Hyderabad, Okara, Sahiwal, Bahawalpur, Khanewal, Gujranwala, Gujrat and other cities has been stopped with immediate effect.
Before the rising tensions in Pakistan-India ties, the work was in progress to install 20 new screens in Lahore, 16 in Karachi, seven in Islamabad, three in Okara and two each in Hyderabad, Sahiwal, Bahawalpur, Khanewal, Gujranwala and Gujrat. The cinema owners have also cancelled two shows daily and reduced the number of staff. In Lahore, the cinemas on Abbottabad Road as well as the multiplexes in Fortress Stadium, Jauhar Town, DHA, MM Alam Road Gulberg and Edgerton Road now give a deserted look. In this scenario, the permanent and contract employees have started submitting applications for new jobs.
Several managers and contract employees said the expenditures of a cinema could not be met only by screening English films, adding that a cinema required different products.
They said although the production of new movies had started in Pakistan, only one-third of a cinema was filled despite rigorous publicity, as they called for protecting their livelihood and deciding the future at the earliest.