3D films have been a tour de force at cinemas abroad, providing an experience that is almost as enjoyable as the film itself. The success of James Cameron’s Avatar has propelled filmmakers to make 3D films, and this summer’s big-budget releases all look set to be 3D films.
But while Pakistani cinemagoers have been deprived of the 3D aspect, they may not be for much longer. Karachi’s Atrium Cinema is set to equip one of its three cinemas with a 3D screen.
Scheduled to launch this fall, Regent Properties and Mandviwala Entertainment have teamed up for the project. The move comes as part of a plan that will introduce a range of three cinemas at Atrium Cinema House.
With a seating capacity of 320 people, the 3D cinema will house more audiences compared to the other two halls, which can accommodate 190 people each.
At a press briefing last weekend, Asim Qureshi of Brand TV introduced the promoters of the project.
Zahid Yunus Habib, the owner of the Atrium Mall and Cinema of Regent Properties said, “Our vision of cinema is soon going to change into reality along with Mandviwala Entertainment. New energy and latest technology of 3D cinema will give synergy, which we would like to say will be mind-blowing.”
Rizwan Machiyara, the builder of the mall and cinema, said, “History is being rewritten. This is something phenomenal. We have picked up people who are stalwarts in the cinema business.” Hussain Chagla, who has been dealing with the technical side of cinema since 1952, is also associated with the project.
Nadeem Mandviwala of Mandviwala Entertainment criticised the government for not taking concrete actions against piracy. “I started working with cinemas in the 1980s and I have seen the ‘VCR culture’ that promoted pirated work. There were certain government policies which never helped cinemas in Karachi and though cinema itself has progressed in Rawalpindi and Lahore, it hasn’t progressed in Karachi at all,” he said.
Talking about the decline of Pakistani cinema, he said that compared to the 1980s, when Mandviwala distributed films to 22 cinemas in Karachi alone, today there are only 22 major cinemas in Pakistan where the company distributes its films.
While the 3D cinema may not be able to stop cinemas from shutting down, it will help maintain - or even increase - the number of people heading out to watch a film.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 29th, 2010.
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