Asha hall emits no hope
'Asha' means hope – the owner of Asha isn't that hopeful anymore. Asha is one of the three cinema halls at Shyamganj in Netrokona, a place where the train Junction makes if an important place. People from surrounding villages and Upazillas go there for shopping and entertainment. If has three cinema halls. All three are in deplorable condition. Cinema hall owners are worried - they are not sure how long they can stay in business. The other two cinema halls are: Torongo and Holy. The conditions of the cinema halls are not suitable for women and children. Even men, who have a TV set at home wouldn't step into the halls.
During Eid, two halls were screening movies that were already released months before. Asha is one them. Cinema hall owner Bahar Uddin Dudu Mia failed to grab hold of any of the Eid releases. Because of Eid, he got away with an older movie and was making good profit. Otherwise, the business is not good.
It was also the first time that his hall was using digital screening system. To say the least, the screening in digital format didn't bring much difference - a cheap projector with a cheaper sound mixer didn't not make much difference. Dudu Mia is happier than before though. Digital means cheaper way of screening. Before he had to spend much more, just to keep the projector running; that means more electricity consumption and a whole lot of carbon. He says that he bought the land and built the hall in 1983. He used to male good profit before. Now, easy access to Indian TV channels and movies that are produced are hard to sell other than special days. He is planning to build a market tearing down the hall. Dudu Mia ignored the question, what movie was screened before, although, outside the old posters were still there. They were of the sort that most people would be ashamed to go and watch.
Government has ruled that any cinema torn down to make market must also contain a cinema hall. But this rule is ignored by most. It is hard to blame a businessman like Badu Mia. He preferred good movies that brings him money. “People like good stories in a movie, most movies now are of bad taste in terms of stories and way of presentation”, he said. It is obvious that Asha cinema hall will not be standing for long. Very soon we may find a market full of shops selling pirated DVDS and cheap electronics.
Related authorities must take actions so people don't get deprived of entertainment businessmen like Dudu Mia don't have to build markets.