“Watching Bol with my colleagues at a multiplex cinema was a superb experience,” says Bushra Rana, a Karachi-based working woman in her early forties. The experience was all the more gratifying for her because the multiplex happened to be inside a shopping mall where the environment, according to her, was “excellent” and the visitors could “enjoy window shopping even if they [were] not in the mood to buy anything.” Melissa D’Souza, a student in her early twenties, had a similarly positive experience of watching movies in the same multiplex. “I love going [there] with friends and family,” she says.
What Rana and D’Souza say about their experience is indeed a sign of a change in people’s attitude towards moviegoing. The change – harking back to the 1960s and 1970s, when a visit to the movie theatre would figure invariably in the weekly calendar of activities for many an urbanite – is coming about due to the fortuitous combination of several factors.