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Shah Rukh Khan's 'Pathaan' emerges as first film in 33 years to have houseful shows in Kashmir

People of Kashmir are queuing up to watch Shah Rukh Khan-starrer 'Pathaan', making it the first film to have houseful shows in 33 years in the Valley.

Shah Rukh Khan's 'Pathaan' emerges as first film in 33 years to have houseful shows in Kashmir snt
First Published Jan 28, 2023, 4:23 PM IST

The Shah Rukh Khan-starrer 'Pathaan' draws crowds from around Kashmir, making it the first movie to play to a packed house in the Valley in 33 years. The cinema halls reopened in Kashmir last year after being shut for three decades due to threats and attacks by terrorists.

The owner of Kashmir's sole multiplex theatre, Vikas Dhar, claimed that every show was sold out on Wednesday's first day of the spy thriller's release.

"I did not know Shah Rukh Khan has such a massive fan following in Kashmir. All shows on the first day were fully booked while five of the seven shows on Republic Day were also sold out," Dhar told PTI. 

It was due to restrictions on the movement of people on account of the Republic Day parade in the vicinity of the city's multiplex in the Badamibagh area that the first two shows had less than expected audience, he added. 

September of last year saw the opening of Dhar's multiplex theatre. There are 520 seats available throughout the theatre's three screens.

"This is after 33 years that people are queuing up to watch movies in Kashmir. This was the dream when we set out with this project and it has come true," he said. 

Also read: 'Pathaan' box office collection Day 3: Shah Rukh Khan's film witnesses first significant dip on Friday

Despite demands for a boycott due to the song 'Besharam Rang', 'Pathaan' has outperformed expectations at the box office, earning Rs 313 crore in international box office revenue in just three days.

On January 25, the movie was released nationwide amidst tight security. Like the rest of the nation, according to Dhar, the controversy has had little impact on the movie's box office performance.

Shah Rukh Khan's 'Pathaan' emerges as first film in 33 years to have houseful shows in Kashmir snt

"Everyone here is coming for entertainment," he added. 

Until the late 1980s, the Valley was home to about a dozen independent movie theatres, but many were forced to close their doors after receiving threats from terrorist groups.

Although attempts to reopen some of the theatres were attempted in the late 1990s, extremists foiled these efforts in September 1999 by carrying out a devastating grenade attack on Regal Cinema in the centre of Lal Chowk.

Two other theatres -- Neelam and Broadway -- had opened their doors but had to shut business due to poor response. Mohammad Iqbal, an avid cinema viewer, said the last time he saw a houseful board outside a theatre was in 1989 when Sunny Deol's "Tridev" was released. 

Also read: Karan Johar reviews Shah Rukh Khan starrer Pathaan, hails it as a 'mega blockbuster'

"It has been 33 years since I saw a houseful board outside a theatre. The last I saw such a board was for Sunny Deol's 'Tridev' in 1989 at Khayyam cinema,"he said. 

"Pathaan '' opened on Wednesday on over 5,000 screens across the country. Due to high demand, the film's total screen count was later increased to 8,500 worldwide. A Yash Raj Films project, "Pathaan", is directed by Siddharth Anand. It also features John Abraham and Deepika Padukone. The film is Shah Rukh's first big screen release as a lead after over four years.

(With inputs from PTI)

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