While cinephiles in the capital continue to wait for the day a movie theatre opens its doors in the capital, Rawalpindi welcomed yet another world-class movie house, as Cine Gold Plex opened its doors in Bahria Town on Thursday.
While the other cinema in the housing colony — The Arena — already offers top-notch cinematic experiences, the new two-screen cinema — located across the golf course in phase eight — features luxurious add-ons such as reclining leather seats, a restaurant at which guests can pre-order their snacks, and have them delivered to their seats right before the movie starts, and breathtaking architecture, credited to Lahore-based Nasir Mehmud of Designer East.
Notably though, only one of the two halls had leather seats installed for the premiere event.
Verve Creative Director Arsalan Khan, who was handling the Fast Six launch, said, “This cinema is just the most luxurious hangout in Pakistan. Where else can guests watch movies in private balconies? It is like being at a grand theatre.”
Nida Ali, a guest at the event, was in awe of the cinema, although she said it was unlikely she would be a frequent visitor due to the great distance from Islamabad. This was a sentiment echoed by most visitors from the capital, with the almost-hour long drive causing headaches for many.
After Thursday’s soft launch, Cine Gold Plex opened for the public on Friday
The opening of the cinema coincided with the premiere of the action movie Fast and Furious Six, which has made over $300 million internationally since opening worldwide on May 24.
For the Mountain Dew-sponsored premiere event, the exterior area of the cinema was brilliantly set up, with the ‘red carpet’ replaced by a ramp designed to look like a road, while the rest of the area was set up to resemble a workshop, with tyres, lining the corners, car parts placed on the walls, all around a bevy of beautiful cars and motorcycles, including Bentleys, a Z4, Ducatis and others. For good measure, there was even a Vin Diesel lookalike and female models wearing outfits inspired by the movie.
All the while, food and beverage items from the cinema’s restaurant were being served, and while prices were not available, the seafood items and cocktails were delicious.
Haider Khan, a fan of the series, was very optimistic about the sixth instalment, hoping for another action-packed car ride.
The movie, much like earlier instalments, was good smash-boom-bang entertainment, but bad dialogue delivery, minimal character development, clichés, and outrageous, physics-defying stunts made parts of it unbearable for any viewer that did not check in their brains at the entrance.
Although loyal fans like Haider Khan were happy while leaving the cinema, especially with the final chase sequence and the post-credits scene, Ali, Arif Chaudhary, and Zaiena Haider all offered one word reviews — bad, nonsense and horrible respectively.
Meanwhile, on the amount of new avenues for entertainment entering the twin cities, model and actor Juggan Kazim said, “Watch out Karachi and Lahore, Islamabad is really rocking these days!”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 1st, 2013.
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