The World Twenty20 is undoubtedly a boost for commerce in the host country of Bangladesh. But rather unexpectedly, it has also helped the movie theatre business in Sarishabari upazila in Jamalpur district. A loss-making cinema hall there is showing cricket matches of the ongoing World Twenty20 featuring Bangladesh to survive in business.
Alta Hall in the upazila showed the Bangladesh-Afghanistan match, the opening match of the event, on the big screen -- the first time in its three-decade history -- attracting scores of cricket-lovers.
“Business is not good, as movies only attract a handful of watchers. We are showing cricket matches to make a living,” said an official of the cinema hall, requesting anonymity.
The cinema hall had to stop showing Bengali movie “Noshto Chhatra (Spoiled Student)” in the evening to make way for the cricket matches.
Yesterday it showed the match between Bangladesh and Nepal.
“I felt very good when I watched the match on the big silver screen. It's like I am watching the match sitting in the stadium,” said Alamgir Hossain, a local who studied psychology at Jagannath University in Dhaka.
Mohammad Sayed, a return visitor to the cricket show, said they had requested the hall authorities to show the cricket matches.
The tickets cost Tk 40 and Tk 35 a person.
Alta Hall is the only cinema hall in the upazila and has been struggling to pay its staff regular wages for the last three months, according to one staff.