A new cinema has opened its doors inside Millenium Mall, hoping to cater to those residents of Karachi who were forced to take a long drive to MA Jinnah Road or beyond to catch a movie.
Since nearly all cinemas in the city are located beyond MA Jinnah Road, Mega Multiplex — which offers both 2D and 3D movies — in Millenium Mall near Dalmia will provide a central location accessible from nearly all parts of the city.
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"The cinema is accessible to everyone regardless of whether they live in Bahadurabad, PECHS, North Nazimabad or Gulshan," said Mega Multiplex general manager Sajid Ali. "Now people won't have to worry about going all the way to Saddar or DHA to watch a movie."
Situated on the third floor of the popular shopping mall in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, the multiplex had its grand opening on Friday evening with the premiere of Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Fan. Comparing the cinema halls at Mega Multiplex with Cinepax in Ocean Mall, Ali said that for the first few months the cinema is going to have only two screens.
"Cinema 1 that has a seating capacity of nearly 137 people will have the largest screen, which is 10 feet by 25 feet," he said. "On the other hand, Cinema 2 will be a little smaller both in screen size (nine feet by 18 feet) and seating capacity (70 people)."
While the halls at Mega Multiplex may not be as spacious as the ones at Atrium or Nueplex cinemas, Ali shared that having huge halls was not a priority. According to Ali, who has previously been associated with Universe Cineplex as general manager, their priority was to provide consumers with an excellent and comfortable cinematic experience. "Having said that, plans to expand the complex are already under way," he said. "For the initial period, we're only going to have two screens but, six months down, we are looking to add another 250-seat cinema to the multiplex," he added.
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Once the third cinema is added, they will transform the smallest hall into a more luxurious hall similar to the ones at Royal cinema or Platinum cinema at Nueplex and Cinepax, respectively, said Ali.
Regardless of the cinema or the movie, the ticket price is going to be set at Rs500. Ali was confident they will not face a lot of competition from Nueplex or Atrium as their unique selling point is the location and accessibility to people living outside DHA and Clifton. The choice to open a cinema inside Millenium Mall was also interesting given that, since its inauguration in 2002, the shopping mall has lost customers to other bigger malls, such as Dolmen Mall on Tariq Road.
"We have looked into all of these aspects, and interestingly Millenium Mall still remains one of the most popular destinations for shoppers and families given that it also houses other recreational activities, such as a bowling arena, play land and a food court," Ali explained.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2016.