LAHORE – The tug of war between the Defense Housing Authority (DHA) and the DHA Cinema management is about to reach its climax as December 1, the day the cinema is scheduled to reopen, closes in and the cinema’s closure is being challenged in court. The DHA has remained stable on its claim that the cinema would reopen on December 1, even as the conflict between it and the DHA Cinema management, which was contracted to Mandviwalla Entertainment before the closure, is in court. Adding to that, a DHA spokesman claimed that the cinema would be operated by the DHA directly from the 1st of December and that it would not be contracted to anyone this time.
The DHA Lahore Cinema was closed down by the housing authority on October 27 owing to security concerns, and it was expected to reopen on three days later. But the cinema was kept sealed and a notice was presented by the DHA, which announced that the cinema would remain closed until November 30. Upon receiving the notice, Mandviwalla Entertainment went to court as the DHA was in contract with it until November 15.
Now that the contract is over, the DHA says it would not contract the cinema to anyone and that it would run the cinema directly.
The reasons behind the cinema being shut down in the first place and later being sealed remain vague. The DHA cites security reasons, but police say there were no threats of any kind against the cinema and that if there were any, the police would have been informed too.
Mandviwalla Entertainment still refrains from commenting on the issue, saying that the case is sub judice.
On the other hand, a worker of the DHA Cinema who wished to remain unnamed had earlier disclosed to Pakistan Today that the closure of the cinema had something to do with the digital projector that had been installed at the cinema, after which the cinema was immediately sealed.
The DHA public relations officer told Pakistan Today that advance tickets bought by customers were being refunded by the DHA. He said the cinema would reopen on the announced date irrespective of whether the case was in court or not. “The cinema will reopen on the 1st of December and the DHA will run the cinema on its own,” he said.