Cinemas closing in Bangladesh as movie followers go to YouTube

Something is amiss in Bangladesh. Cinema halls that after thronged with movie fanatics are struggling to search out sufficient moviegoers to fill their seats. New releases from Dhallywood – Bangladesh’s reply to Mumbai’s Bollywood – are falling flat on the field workplace. Some veteran movie-houses are even closing their doorways fully, citing falling ticket gross sales and dwindling audiences.

A film theatre in Dhaka. Image by MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/GettyImages

According to the Bangladesh Motion Pictures Exhibitors Association, a staggering 914 cinemas have closed within the nation since 2000, leaving simply 321 cinemas serving a inhabitants of 163 million. The causes for the decline are manyfold. One main perpetrator is movie piracy, with unlawful copies of films being screened at no cost by tea stands on transportable televisions to drum up business. The development of home leisure and satellite tv for pc tv has additionally dented public curiosity in going out to ‘the talkies’.

Bangladeshi, or “Dhallywood” movie posters are seen on the Bangladesh Film Development Corporation. Image by Getty Images

Others place the blame firmly on the Dhallywood film trade. At the peak of the Bengali movie trade within the 1990s, native movie studios have been producing as much as 100 movies a 12 months, however this has dwindled to lower than forty, lots of them low-budget, low-quality motion dramas, filmed on digital video cameras and copied over to 35mm movie for cinematic release. The apply of slicing quick erotic scenes – recognized domestically as ‘cut-pieces’ – into movies to lure in male viewers has additionally alienated feminine and religiously conservative audiences.

A movie is edited on the Bangladesh Film Development Corporation Image by Getty Images

The reputation of YouTube has additionally been cited as an element within the decline of conventional movie-going in Bangladesh. Smart-phones have gotten more and more standard, and new releases from each Dhallywood and Bollywood are sometimes pirated and posted to YouTube inside hours of being launched.

However, the outlook shouldn’t be all gloomy. Senior figures within the movie trade are campaigning for the government to improve the nation’s cinemas to deal with high-quality digital movies, which could be launched to cinemas by a centrally-controlled server, decreasing alternatives for piracy. There are additionally requires the government to liberalise the movie trade, permitting the screening of imported movies. Just a handful of Indian movies have been cleared for release in Bangladesh since 1971, driving followers to hunt out their Bollywood repair exterior of the standard cinema setting.

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