Amid the uncertainty that looms over the movie business, Modhuban Cineplex in Bogura is planning to reopen. The cinema theatre, which is set to be a multiplex, has been closed since 2017 for reconstruction and renovation purposes.
Modhuban Cineplex was established in 1969. However, during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971, the construction of the theatre was halted, and it was finally inaugurated in 1974. In 2013, retired Lieutenant Colonel Ashrafuzzaman's son Rokonuzzaman Md Eunus, Executive Member of Bangladesh Cholochitro Prodorshok Samiti, inherited Modhuban Cineplex. Currently, his sons Shaikuzzaman and Akibuzzaman are the directors of the theatre.
"If the government allows us to reopen, we will begin with a single theatre and depending on the profits, we plan to turn it into a multiplex," says Shaikuzzaman, one of the directors of Modhuban Cineplex. "We have a plot ready right beside the theatre where we plan to build another hall. We have decreased our seats from 885 to 340. Among those, 300 seats are premium and 40 seats are VIP." He also shared that due to the low number of moviegoers and the lack of space, they reduced the number of seats in 2017. Since then, the theatre has been closed. Amid the pandemic, they took up the challenge of reopening, to keep open entertainment options in Bogura. "If the government grants us the soft loan that was recently announced, we will be able to improve our visual and sound systems. We plan to invest more on safety measures, as we are well aware that COVID-19 is a deadly threat," Shaikuzzaman shares.
Seats might be reduced in order to maintain social distancing. "Looking at the current circumstances, we are helpless," says Shaikuzzaman on if reducing seats will be a profitable choice. Their fully air-conditioned gallery contains a large parking area, two food courts and two open smoking zones.
A handful of movies will be released once they have the permission to reopen. "We plan to bring Hollywood movies as well to meet the audiences' demands," concludes Shaikuzzaman.