The Cinemas are Crying!

Lahore, 3rd November: If you ever have a conversation with your dad or granddad regarding movies and cinemas, they’ll tell you about the time they stood in the long queues outside Capri Cinema in Lahore, or how they sneakily watched their favourite movie for the tenth time at Nishat Cinema in Karachi.

They will recall the good old days when they bunked school to watch the latest ‘Sultan Rahi’ or ‘Muhammad Ali’ film with a bottle of coke and a packet of popcorn in hand.

But when you come to think of it, do you have such memories?

However, the frequency of people going to cinemas has decreased over the years, in 1974, there was an average of 10.5, however, as of 2019, it had fallen to only 6.3. With the challenges the world faced this year and theatres and cinemas temporarily being shut down, this number would surely have decreased even more.

This change is noticeable due to many reasons, technological advancements and websites like Netflix have played a part in reducing cinema culture, for they have made all sorts of movies and TV shows easily accessible to the people at a lower price.

Another factor is the rising cost of tickets, this poses a problem for the common man since they are unable to afford tickets as easily as before. Hence, the frequency with which they can go to theatres to watch a movie decreases.

Finally, this pandemic is a huge hurdle for cinema-goers to go to cinemas, as movie theatres have been shut down for precaution purposes. This lockdown and need for social distancing will have a longer-lasting effect on this activity as it has resulted in people finding alternatives for cinemas.

People have become more comfortable with staying home and watching movies on their LEDs, laptops and mobiles. Hence, the demand for cinemas has decreased.

However, in this evolution, we have sacrificed something beautiful: the magic of a movie theatre. We have lost the chance of sitting in that dark hall and forgetting the world outside, we have lost the ability to sit amongst strangers yet feel at home, and we have lost the chance of being a part of something bigger than ourselves.

Therefore, the cinemas are crying, for their culture is dying, but is this the end of their journey, or a mere hurdle that too shall pass?

The fate of cinema culture lies in your hands, so as a final plea, I beseech, do not let it die!

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