Lahore, Dec 15 (IANS) Pakistan’s third-most-populous city, Faisalabad, known for its love for cinema has lost yet another place of entertainment – Nishat Cinema – now a theatre, as it has been sold and the new owner has started demolishing the decades old structure to build a plaza.
The cinema, established decades ago, had been screening Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu and English movies and was later converted into a theatre for staging dramas.
According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, in 2003-04, Faisalabad division – Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh and Jhang – had 28 cinemas: 18 in Faisalabad, five each in Toba Tek Singh and Jhang. The number was sadly reduced to seven in 2011-12.
Earlier, a number of cinemas, including Shehzad, Metropole, Tariq, Nadir, Novelty, Shabnum, Odeon, Javeed, Reo, Regal, Naaz, Bambino, ABC, Sangeet, Shadman etc had been demolished.
The land of these cinemas was later used either to establish residential colonies or commercial plazas. Currently, Faisalabad has about seven modern multiplex cinemas.
Qavi Khan, a renowned film, television and stage actor, commenting on decay of the local entertainment industry told Dawn that many of those who were doing cinema and theatre business should simply do something else as they did not belong to the industry.
Former manager of Nishat Cinema, Humayon said the new owner would go for construction of a commercial plaza that might also have a theatre hall on one of its floors.
A food vendor, Aslam, who was sitting on a bench outside the locked gate of the cinema, told Dawn, ” I’m 48 and my elders told me that the cinema was here even before the inception of Pakistan.”