The Defence Housing Authority (DHA) Cinema which was closed down on October 27 for ‘security reasons’, failed to open on Monday, the scheduled day of re-opening.
The Cinema, which was set to screen 3D shows from Friday, was issued a notice by the Defence Housing Authority on October 27 to shut down with ‘immediate effect’ for ‘security concerns’.
The notice asked the DHA Cinema management, Mandviwalla Entertainment, to keep the cinema closed till October 30.
The management closed down the cinema on October 27.
On October 28, according to DHA Cinema management, a notice issued by a senior civil judge directed the DHA to ‘restrain from interfering into the management and operations of the cinema and also restrain from creating hurdles to free access to the cinema by the viewers and staff’ was served on the DHA. The management claimed that the DHA disregarded the notice and forcefully sealed the cinema on October 28.
Audiences who had bought tickets for the shows during October 27 to October 30 made their way to the cinema on October 31 in hopes of receiving some information regarding refunds or resumption of the shows.
Last week the DHA cinema hoped to attract a large audience of 3D movie lovers as since late August DHA Cinema had announced their plans for installing 3D facility at the cinema.
Defence resident Saba Khan said she had bought 10 tickets for Friday’s show. “When we arrived here there was just the police barricading the cinema,” she said, “they told us the shows had been cancelled till Sunday.” Khan said the ticket for the 3D movie cost Rs550 each. “I had planned to watch the movie in 3D with a group of friends, now I don’t know who will give me a refund,” she said.
Speaking with The Express Tribune, film critic Saim Sadiq expressed his disappointment at not being able to see the 8pm show on Friday for which he said he had tickets.
He had hoped to review the new Indian film Ra-One. Sadiq hoped the cinema would re-open soon.
DHA spokesperson Tajammul Hussain said the cinema was closed due to security reasons and will reopen “according to the schedule”. A guard stationed outside the cinema on Monday afternoon said the cinema was closed and people should contact the DHA office for refunds or further information.
A DHA official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said it was difficult to say when the cinema would open again because “Mandviwalla’s contract has expired and DHA does not plan on renewing it.”
Published in The Express Tribune, November 1st, 2011.
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