Monday, 27 March, 2023

The last cinema hall in Feni demolished

FENI: With demolishing the district town’s last movie theater, Feni now has no cinema hall left.

Dulal Cinema Hall, Feni town’s last remaining movie theater, was demolished last Wednesday (February 15, 2023) due to a steep decline in the number of audiences. A multi-storey shopping mall will be built on the site where the cinema hall stood, reports UNB.

Safiuddin Belal, owner of Dulal Cinema Hall said, “We had to seek assistance from law enforcement to tackle the crowd during screening of blockbusters such as ‘Beder Meye Josna’ and ‘Rupban’.”

“However, the number of audiences started declining after 2015,” Belal told.

The cinema hall had eight “VIP” seats (tickets for each cost Tk 100). It also had 80 “first-class” seats (Tk 60 each).

Belal said that “second” and “third-class” seats had been discontinued for the past three years.

There were six cinema halls in the town and the adjacent Dagonbhuiya upazila. One after another, curtains fell on Feni district’s silver screens as the owners were left with no choice but to demolish them.

The lack of quality films, coupled with the steep decline in audience, killed the town’s cinema hall business.

The four cinema halls in Feni town were Dulal Cinema Hall, Surat Mahal, Bilashi Cinema Hall, and Kanan Cinema Hall. There were two other cinema halls — Beauty Cinema Hall in Fulghazi upazila and Jharna Cinema Hall in Dagonbhuiyan.

Thousands of movie lovers from the district’s remote areas used to flock to these halls to see films with their families and friends.

In 1952, sports organizer Khairul Eshak opened Dulal Cinema Hall on Feni town’s Railway Station Road. Years later, Afzalur Rahman opened the Surat cinema hall in the city’s Zero Point area. However, the hall was demolished and later replaced by Feni Super Market after Afzalur Rahman’s son Bacchu Mia took over the ownership after his father’s death in 2003.

Feni’s Kanan cinema hall opened in Masterpara Mor around 1978, under the ownership of Azad Peyara and Momtazul Huq Bhuiyan. The hall was in operation until the owners went out of business during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bilashi, one of the four cinema halls in Feni city, was built around 1980 by Nur Mia. The hall was later rented out to the city’s local commissioner, Omar Faruk, after the death of Nur Mia. Faruk left the business due to losses in 2002, and since then, the hall has been closed.

Surat and Dulal cinema halls were the top choices of the audience due to their safer and cleaner environment. According to reports, at least 700–800 tickets were sold per show.

The other cinema halls used to attract 400–600 viewers per show. At least 10,000-12,000 viewers used to watch films at the four cinema halls in Feni every day on an average.