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People watching first movie at Bambino Cinema after its renovation in Karachi. Bambino Cinema destroyed and burnt down by angry protesters during a demonstration.—PPI Images

KARACHI: Showing steely resilience, the Bambino cinema will resume functioning on the first day of Eid (Oct 27), showcasing an Indian and a Pakistani film.

Bambino was one of those cinema houses that were set on fire during protests against an anti-Islam film on Sept 21.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Bambino CEO Adeel Imtiaz said that after a span of a little more than a month, the cinema was readied for film screening on Eid. He lamented that the government did not lend any support whatsoever in that regard and remarked, “We did not even receive a phone call from them.”

Funds were generated and the facility was restored so that the masses could be entertained, he explained.

He said Indian film ‘Rush’ would be shown on Eid along with Pakistani movie ‘Sher Dil’ (at Scala). He told journalists that only that part of the cinema hall had been restored where the public would come and watch films. The façade was yet to be taken care of because the damage was so severe that it would need a year or two for a full recovery. He said soon Capri cinema would also restart showing films.

Replying to a question about the financial damage, Mr Imtiaz said it was in tens of millions of rupees. He claimed between five and six million rupees had so far been spent on restoring the cinema.

On the issue of security, he argued it was the government responsibility to make sure that the cinema house remains unharmed.

He recalled that when a mob arrived, the law-enforcement agencies disappeared from the site leave alone cinema workers.

However, he informed the media, this time round steps were taken (such as installation of metal detectors) to keep a check on miscreants. He said he’d also sent a letter to a nearby police station for security.

Responding to a query about government apathy, Mr Imtiaz said it was Hakim Ali Zardari who established the facility and Z.A. Bhutto inaugurated it. So the current president of the country had fond memories of Bambino, which made it all the more relevant for him to do something about it, he said. He emphasised that if the cinema house became a victim of vandalism again, it would be unbearable for them to recover from it.

Comments (6) Closed

Monayem Chowdhury Oct 26, 2012 03:18pm
It is great to know that BAMBINO is open for showing within such a short time of its destruction. I have spent 8 years of my life in karachi the last being in the year 1967. I used to live in Preedy Street then very close to this movie theatre. I still remember the time and our excitement at its opening with state of the art technology and comfort. My first movie at this theatre was CLEOPATRA. People as far away as from DHAKA, BANGLADESH did come to watch that particular movie as the same was not being shown anywhere else at that time. I congratulate the Owner and Management at their resilience and wish them great success. MONAYEM CHOWDHURY USA.
husain Oct 27, 2012 05:12am
True:This is the period 40 years before you are talking about.
Cyrus Howell Oct 27, 2012 01:54am
That is how it should be.
Md Imran Oct 26, 2012 06:45pm
Have faith in our law enforcement, go and enjoy a movie anywhere in it in Karachi,Lahore or even Rawalpindi. Despite all the criticism, i firmly believe we have one of the most hard working and competent interior minister in form of Rehman Malik. Him and his team have grip on the situation. Enjoy the movie now, and eid mubarak.
AHA Oct 26, 2012 11:01am
I miss those days when I could go to Bambino without fear of being blown to bits (and also enjoy a Dhud-Pati at the Iranian resturant at the corner of Bunder Road).
Zulfi Oct 28, 2012 03:30am
Thats wonderful!