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Pakistani cinemas set to reopen as Covid restrictions ease

As Covid appears to be under control, the government has allowed cinemas to reopen in Pakistan. However, Pakistani citizens will be required to show their vaccination cards upon their arrival in order to get the tickets for the movie.

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Pakistan is all set to reopen its cinemas as it has been over a year since the cinemas were shut down on the orders of NCOC to control the coronavirus outbreak. As people are getting vaccinated and the number of vaccinated people is increasing day by day, the government has finally allowed ease in the restrictions which includes reopening of indoor dining, marriage halls and cinemas.

Citizens of the country are required to show their vaccination cards upon their arrival in order to get the tickets for the movie. This step is seen as a welcoming change for Pakistanis as it has been a long time since movies were screened in cinemas therefore movie enthusiast can now enjoy their favorite source of entertainment. But the real question is what is going to be screened at cinemas.

It is a huge risk for cinema owners as not many movies have been released ever since the pandemic began. Many cinema lovers have turned to online streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney. The owners of cinemas have to come up with good strategies so that they can earn from their businesses that were a victim of Covid.

Read more: New restrictions for tourists amid fourth COVID-19 wave in Pakistan

Nadeem Mandviwalla, the managing director of Atrium and Centaurus cinemas opened up about his views of reopening cinemas. He said that their plan is simple; they will start with popular movies like Fast and Furious 9 and The Conjuring. For Eid, the Black Widow will be released.

Since the franchise has an amazing fan following in Pakistan, the cinema owners are expecting a good response. It’s hard to depict any response as of now as the global pandemic is not over yet.

Indian movies in Pakistan

We should not forget the void that cinema owners face ever since Indian movies got banned in Pakistan. It has definitely decreased the viewership of the audience. Cinema owners hope for a cordial relationship with India so that all the bans regarding the entertainment industry can be lifted up.

Read more: Pakistan bans Indian films’ screening in cinemas

In the past many actors have appealed to the Prime Minister to lower the taxes and electricity rates from industrial to commercial as these factors affect the cinematic businesses negatively.

The smooth opening of cinemas does not only depend on the owners and the government but on the audience as well. In the past, Pakistan has proved to be a solid business partner for Indian movies as citizens of the country has always showed key interest in their movies despite having ever-present political tension between the two countries.

We can only hope that our industry creates content that provides them quality entertainment. Due to the increasing popularity of streaming giants, many actors have also turned towards these platforms.

Read more: Islamabad sees ’80s drive-in cinema culture make a comeback

The biggest issue for Pakistani cinemas owners is the implementation of SOPS as this will be a huge issue for the authorities and it can also be one of the reasons for the increase in the cases of Covid. It has always been hard to impose restrictions on Pakistani citizens since not many people understand the severity of the pandemic so it would be interesting to see what measures authority takes in the future to make sure all things fall into place.

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