Lt Governor Manoj Sinha watching a movie in the newly opened INOX cinema in Kashmir

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Sunday inaugurated multipurpose cinema halls in South Kashmir's Pulwama and Shopian districts.

Terming it as a 'historic day, Sinha said that this step will help to create employment for the youth.

"Providing health infrastructure, employment, quality education to the youths and to empower them is our priority," Sinha said adding that these types of initiatives will not only help in generating employment but also provide social security to our youths.

Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, PK Pole, ADGP Kashmir zone police Vijay Kumar and several senior officers of police and civil administration were also present at the screening. Many students were also present at the event and watched films in the halls.

Cinema halls were closed in Jammu and Kashmir since the 1990s due to unfavourable conditions. These multiplexes have been set up after three decades in Srinagar, which comes as a major move to bring entertainment to the youth in the Valley along with employment opportunities.

Lauding the step by the J-K administration, one of the students said that he is hopeful the situation will improve in the valley.

Later, Sinha also took to Twitter and said," A historic day for J-K UT! Inaugurated Multipurpose Cinema Halls at Pulwama and Shopian. It offers facilities ranging from a movie screening, infotainment and skilling of youth."

According to an official, the multiplexes are designed by INOX. Three large auditoriums have been built in the multiplex with a seating capacity of more than 500 people at a time. The auditorium has been provided with the Dolby Atmos digital sound system giving the viewers surround sound for the best movie experience.

The Kashmiri handicrafts 'Khatamband' and 'Papier Mache' have been used in the cinema hall, which stands out.

Earlier, the Chairman of the project, Vijay Dhar, had said that the youngsters should get the same facilities in the cinema that they get outside Kashmir.

"We saw there had been no such thing here for 30 years. We thought why not? So we've just started. The youngsters should get the same facilities in the cinema which they get in Jammu or in other towns of the country," he said.

Dhar said that the people of Kashmir have suffered from mental stress for years and therefore, it was important for the people to have multiplexes for entertainment.

Notably, J-K was a preferred destination for the moviemakers, which diminished due to militancy in the region during the 90s.

According to the official, the locals here often went to watch movies earlier and hoped for peace and brotherhood to prevail in the Valley like before.

The setting up of a multiplex in Kashmir, which has seen terrorism for a long time from the other side of the border, comes three years after the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir. Notably, the theatres in the Valley had shut in 1990 due to the rise in militancy.