Vikram Vedha: Movies return to Kashmir with Hrithik Roshan-starrer

Cinema halls have reopened in Indian-administered Kashmir for the first time in more than two decades. Moazum Mohammad and Abid Bhat report on the return of the cinema to the conflict-torn region – and what it means for the people.

The foyer of the INOX multiplex in Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar is filled with the region’s crafts – intricate wood carvings on the ceiling and doors and a theatre logo made of papier-mâché.

Suhail Bhat, a class 10 student, skipped school to be there on Friday when the theatre opened to public with the screening of Hindi film Vikram Vedha.

“I am so happy. I used watched movies on TV and on my phone but I have never been to a theatre,” he says.

As the film breaks into an interval, Bhat waits in the foyer with a bucket of popcorn and a soft drink, occasionally clicking pictures.

“I have been sending them to my friends who couldn’t make it – they are all so excited,” he says.

The cinema complex has three movie halls, all equipped with sophisticated sound system, and an entertainment zone for kids.

“It took us four years to reach this day,” says Vikas Dhar who, along with his father, has partnered with INOX to open the complex. The family demolished an eight-room guest house to make way for the four-storey multiplex.

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