It is alarming for the Bangladeshi Film Industry as well as saddening for the movie lovers of Rajshahi that the last-standing cinema hall in Rajshahi City ceased its operation on the plea of incurring loss. Since 2000, as many as 914 cinemas have been closed down, according to Bangladesh Motion Pictures Exhibitors Association. Reportedly, in 2016 only 321 cinema halls remained open across Bangladesh. Reasons for the sharp decline in numbers are manifold, availability of satellite channels, piracy, poor film quality and obscenity being several of them.
Gone are the days when cinema halls were the only place where films were screened. It was the golden era of Bangla cinema when quality films were made and people were crazy to watch those films. The quality of the films has gone down and people have started depending on satellite television channels and mobile phone sets for entertainment. Nowadays people can watch movies on hand-held services. Such a practice is injecting the sky culture among people of every walk of life in Bangladesh. Even though we are living in the era of digital film the trend of copying commercial films of other countries is dominating our film industry. The quality of our locally produced movies thus has gradually deteriorated over time.
Film is one of the most powerful media of communication throughout the world, which signifies a country’s cultural identity. But due to numerous factors, not only urban people but also the rural people prefer foreign movies rather than the own ones. We do not become surprised even when we see Hindi songs occupying our cultural programmes. It is more of a disgrace that there are some Bengali cultural activists who prefer Hindi songs to play on different cultural occasions. Nothing is more upsetting to hear that Hindi songs are played during Pahela Baishakh celebration.
Considering all these, reviving the cinema hall culture of Bangladesh comes up as a national priority and in order to do that first of all, we need ensure quality production.