LAHORE: A sum of Rs390 million has been approved for the upgradation of the Open Air Theatre, Bagh-i-Jinnah.
Punjab Council of Arts Executive Director Abrar Alam told Dawn that the budget had been allocated in the approved ADP scheme and the project would be completed in 2023. He said the oldest theatre in the city would be upgraded and equipped with the latest equipment.
He said a meeting of the Design Approval Committee was held last year under the chairmanship of Walled City of Lahore Authority Director General Kamran Lashari to finalise recommendations on the design of the scheme -- ‘Upgradation and Improvement of Open Air Theatre, Bagh-i-Jinnah, Lahore. The committee has finalised the recommendations and work on the project has started.
He said the committee approved by the chief minister had finalised all aspects of the project.
The executive director said the Open Air Theatre, which falls under the purview of the Punjab Council of Arts, had a historical significance as it was constructed on the Greek pattern in 1941. He said the basic objective of the upgradation was to bring it on a par with such institutions at the international, conserve the cultural heritage and promote language, art and culture of Punjab.
He said there would be green rooms, makeup rooms, music room, offices, control room, project room, conference room, art gallery, CCTV cameras and a soundproof studio. New toilets would be built and marble would be placed on the stage. An extended parking and a café also were part of the project, he said.
He said the students of colleges and universities, dramatic societies and parallel theatre groups would be invited to stage plays at the upgraded stage. There would also be exclusive performances by the Punjab Council of Arts, which would include theatrical activity, music shows and standup comedy shows.
All purchases would be made by the procurement committee of the Punjab Council of Arts according to the PPRA rules.
Published in Dawn, October 5th, 2022