All is set to launch the mega project of multi-purpose plaza at the site of Odeon Cinema, as work on it is likely to kick off in March this year.

Sources told ‘The News’ here on Monday that the designing and feasibility work on the project has been completed and the issue of launching work on it is in final stages. Work on the project would be completed in one year.

Elaborating, the sources said that the project include construction of eight-storey building along with ground floor and basement for parking purposes. The eight-storey building would be allotted for business centres and shopping plazas. The significance of the project includes creation of two multi-screen cinemas for entertainment to the public. The cost of the project is estimated at Rs1,530 million and work on it would start after floating tenders in the print media.

According to the sources as far as funding of the project is concerned it would be done through token amount from the interested parties. This process is best and easiest way for initiating and completion of any project.

It is worth mentioning here that the Odeon Cinema has been lying closed for about 10 years, due to slump in film business. Because of falling business, the owner faced huge losses and did not agree for raising monthly charges.

While taking charge of the cinema, the civic body i.e. Rawalpindi Cantonment Board, had planned to convert the cinema into business centre for generating revenue. The body had also decided to convert it into public library but failed to implement the plan. However, the present set-up of the Board has succeeded to complete all homework related to converting the cinema into business centre through which it would be able to generate revenue worth Rs1.5 billion annually. The official spokesman of RCB confirmed the report on launching of commercial project at the site of Odeon Cinema. The property of Odeon Cinema belongs to the RCB and the contract of the cinema was awarded to private party decades ago i.e. not less than 50 years. The spokesman also confirmed that work on it would be launched sometime in March this year. Out of eight storeys two would have two multiple screen cinema and theatre. Ticket rates would be appropriate, enabling the viewers to get cheaper entertainment, he said. All kinds of movies including Pakistani, Bollywood and English would be allowed to project on the screens, the spokesman said.