LAHORE: Being one of the biggest recreational centres in Lahore, the administration at Bari Studio is all set to revive its historic value by holding theatre activities once again. During the past one year, the studio played host to commercial activities but it will now reopen for theatre lovers and work towards becoming the hub for arts and culture. Film and TV personalities present at the relaunch lauded the studio’s efforts to strengthen the art culture.
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Constructed by famous film producer Malik Bari, the studio was home ground to many hit films of the country. Initially, Bari Studio was built with three halls, studio rooms, film sets, a laboratory and all the necessary equipment needed for filming and post-production. However, during the last two decades, it faced severe crisis as the entertainment industry underwent a rough patch. Only some parts of the studio were available for film production while others had turned into marriage halls with ample parking. Some rooms were also handed over to people running small businesses.
Three years ago, Bari Studio introduced a play titled Bari Theatre to bring back the art medium to audiences but all efforts were in vain and the studio was shut for the public. Adamant on reviving the art space, the administration sought help from famed stage producer Malik Asim to once again started conducting plays. He initiated marketing campaigns across the city and started planning performances to attract the crowd once again to the theatre, which was once the top entertainment choice for people in Lahore.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Asim revealed, “I have been handed over the theatre for one year and I hope to revive it with good performances. For the first show, I will be working with renowned theatre actors for a play called Pyaar Da Tohfa. Amir Sohna has written the play and he will be directing it as well.” He added that the cast will include the likes of Arzo, Jiya and Kinza Choudhary, Waheed Rahi, Mitho Baral, Noor Butt, Qaiser Noor and Arshad Sohna among many others.
Asim continued, “I believe that theatres are facing a tough time in Lahore because there is a shortage of quality work in the industry. About a decade ago, families would rush to theatre halls to get their seats but with changing times and the quality of content stooping to an all-time low, they stopped attending plays altogether.”
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The producer explained that he is now aiming to grab the attention of families and theatre enthusiasts while focusing on young talent. “I will be strictly following the code of conduct given by the government of Punjab. None of the artists will be allowed to deliver any dialogue that is not part of the script. The administration and I will observe how the audience feels about the first play," added Asim.
"After evaluating their response, we will start planning our future plays. Right now, I am in the process of arranging an inauguration ceremony for Bari Studio next week. Various renowned stage artists are expected to participate.”
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