Prince Cinema Gazdarabad Karachi - Closed
Abandoned Prince Cinema. Destroyed in riots by religious extremists on 21 September, 2012. Prince Cinema was the best and the largest cinemas of Karachi it opened in march 1974 was a wonderful place to be until. It started to crumble down when it was acquired by new owners. in January 2012 it was sealed by the cantonment board and since than its closed it is but in shambles now. Everyone allowed in this Cinema. Ticket Prices are normally Rs. 200/- for Grand Circle (balcony), Rs. 100/- for Dress Circle and Rs. 70/- for Circle.
M.A Jinnah Road, Gazdarabad, Karachi, Pakistan
Mon - Sat: 2:00 pm - 11:55 pm & Sun: 11:55 am - 11:55 pm
Cinemascope courtesy http://tribune.com.pk - May, 2012: The decline of the Pakistani film industry has affected cinemas across the country but for Karachi, which once had over 100 cinemas, the repercussions are devastating.
M.A. Jinnah Road, that once housed as many as 20 cinemas is now left with only three large cinemas, Capri, Prince and Nishat. At one point in time, Karachi had 113 cinemas – today, it only has 36 cinemas. Out of these 36, only a few follow censorship policies, leaving very limited choices for people. Karachi’s Nishat Cinema was inaugurated by Fatima Jinnah on December 25, 1947.
It was in 2006 that the theatre was renovated with a ‘royal look’ featuring tiled floors and a comfortable seating arrangement. At that time, Nishat showed the colour version of the classic Indian film Mughal-e-Azam. Unlike Nishat, Capri Cinema is refurnished regularly, according to its spokesperson Chaudhary Ashraf. The theatre has a seating capacity of 850 and its management plans to renovate the entire building. Since it is one of the few cinemas that has a parking lot, Capri Cinema is preferable for those who do not want to leave their cars on the busy M.A. Jinnah Road. Karachi’s Prince Cinema is no longer maintained by its owner who is currently unwell.
According to an insider, the present management does not seem to have any interest in improving the state of a theatre often attributed to be dark and dim. “People do not even think of visiting this place now. [I] remember in 2004 when news flashed across the local media about 30 sex workers and 100 men that were reported to be their customers. They were caught during a raid, conducted by police officials under the directives of the then Sindh Home Minister.
The place no longer bears a reputable name,” said a movie buff. “I personally like to go to Nishat Cinema and to a large extent Capri Cinema too. Since the air-conditioning system is good and the toilets are clean, well-to-do people also go to these cinemas. My friends and family prefer either of the two,” said an avid cinema-goer. Talking about Cineplex Karachi she said, “It is a glorified TV screen with a poor sound system that makes the place highly undesirable”. “Nothing can be compared to Nishat and Capri.
A family can go there and enjoy and to a great extent, even a visit to Bambino Cinema is not bad at all,” she further said. With their number falling aggressively, not only is the condition of cinemas under threat but they are often reckoned to be on the verge of extinction. Cinemas need to be safeguarded against plaza building mafia that takes possession of cinema property at lower rates for the construction of shopping malls and other commercial buildings.
30 Prostitutes Arrested at Cinema House courtesy Daily Times - August, 2004: Sindh home minister Rauf Siddiqui and CCPO Karachi Tariq Jameel along with a contingent of the police and Rangers raided Prince Cinema on M. A. Jinnah Road on August 16, afternoon. 30 alleged prostitutes and more than 200 viewers were arrested in the raid, the police said.
The raid was conducted on a tip-off during the matinee show. The police and Rangers sealed off all entry and exit points of the cinema house and arrested 30 women, alleged to be prostitutes, more than 100 viewers and several staff of the cinema house.
The police said the prostitution business was being run with the connivance of staffers of the cinema, including the manager.
The cinema house was, reportedly, being used as a brothel for the past few months. The cinema staff, reportedly, made prostitutes available. Owners of the cinema house told the police and reporters they did not know that prostitution business was being run in the cinema house and they blamed the cinema staff for allowing the dirty business, the police said.
The police said the cinema had been under observation for the past one week. Sindh home minister Rauf Siddiqui supervised the raid in the presence of press reporters.
The owner of the cinema house, his son, two managers, an operator and other cinema staff had also been arrested. The home minister ordered immediate suspension of the SHO Saddar police station, Chaudhry Abdul Hameed, in whose limits the cinema house was located. He also ordered an inquiry into the matter.
The DIG operation, Fayyaz Leghari, would conduct the inquiry into the inaction by the area police with regard to the dirty business, the police said. The home minister also ordered sealing of the cinema house, the police said. The home minister said in his statement the government wanted to encourage healthy recreation but would not allow this dirty trade in the garb of film shows.
The police claimed investigations conducted so far revealed that ,Rs 500 a man were being charged for providing him with a prostitute inside the cinema house and an identification card or a particular mark was allotted to the man.
The police said prostitutes were seated in the cinema at a particular place and they were availed of during the show in darkness. The police claimed prostitutes were paid Rs 300 each and Rs 200 were pocketed by cinema staff.
The police said the two mangers of the cinema, Tariq and Javed, and other staff had been arrested.
The arrested women tore reporters they were watching movie in the cinema house. The DIG operation, Fayyaz Lehgari, and the TPO Saddar town, Sanaullah Abbasi, were also present when the raid was conducted.
The arrested men and women have been lodged at Saddar police station. Sources said people thronged Saddar police station at night to get their relations and friends released.
The police were, reportedly being pressured to release those arrested in the raid on the cinema house. People were, reportedly, making contacts with high officials to pressure the police to release their relations and friends.
- Grand Circle -200 (Gallery)
- Dress Circle - 100
- Circle - 70