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Requiem for a Karachi cinema hall

Nishat Cinema in Pakistan which was built by a businessman from Bombay, now Mumbai, immediately after partition in 1947 is going to soon close down permanently.

Islamabad: Nishat Cinema in Pakistan which was built by a businessman from Bombay, now Mumbai, immediately after partition in 1947 is going to soon close down permanently.

This is not surprising, considering that the curtains have come down on many cinema houses in Karachi, or for that matter, all over Pakistan in recent years, Dawn reported Thursday.

On Sept 21, 2012, Nishat cinema was burnt down by a mob protesting against the uploading of an anti-Islamic film on YouTube.

"We waited till midnight for the fire brigade to come and extinguish the inferno, but it didn't come to our rescue," says Nawab Hasan Siddiqi, the manager of Nishat for more than two decades.

The cinema was almost totally burnt down. Now three years later the management of the cinema decided to call it a day.

Naz Cinema, opposite Nishat, downed shutters some two decades earlier.

Nishat had gone into hibernation in 2007, but when former military ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf gave a special permission to import K. Asif's magnum opus Mughal-e-Azam, the movie theatre was revamped and refurbished.

But the movie, which did record-breaking business when it was released in India in 1960, was a few decades too late in Pakistan.

It was inaugurated by Fatima Jinnah, sister of Muhahmmad Ali Jinnah, Dec 25, 1947.

Years later, in 1962, Nishat was bought by Yusuf Mandviwala, Fazle Karim Fazli, a retired civil servant and poet.

He released his maiden production ‘Chiragh Jalta Raha’ in Nishat and the movie was opened for screening by Fatimah Jinnah.

The story must, perforce stop here as there is no point raking up the past.

From Zee News

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