Pakistan’s first IMAX cinema to open in Sept 2005
* Punjab government to take control of Shalamar Gardens and Lahore Fort on July 1
By Anjum Gill
LAHORE: The city will have it first IMAX cinema along with an ‘Infotainment Park’ in front of Gaddafi Stadium by September next year, Punjab Culture Secretary Taimur Azmat Usman told Daily Times on Tuesday.
The project will cost an estimated Rs 400 million and will house a theatre, restaurants, shopping malls, a skating arena, science centre and other attractions, Mr Usman said.
There are 270 IMAX cinemas in the world, but the one planned in Lahore will be Pakistan’s first. The government has bought 92 kanals for the project and the Parks and Horticulture Authority has already begun landscaping.
An IMAX theatre screen is three times larger than the standard for cinemas that use 70mm film. The high resolution screen makes for a unique cinematic experience, taking audiences into unfamiliar worlds, flying high above the earth or diving under the deepest oceans. Audiences are immersed in larger-than-life images, making them feel as if they are literally in the picture.
The IMAX cinema’s uncompressed digital wrap-around sound is unsurpassed in depth and clarity. A patented six-channel speaker system delivers exacting volume and quality to every seat in the cinema. From a small drop of rain to a massive clap of thunder, audiences experience every shade and subtlety, regardless of where they sit.
“It has a large-scale format and completely fills a viewers field of vision and makes them feel like a part of the movie. We plan to install both two-dimensional and three-dimensional screens,” the culture secretary said.
“Most IMAX cinemas are based in institutions as most of the films in this format are educational. Commercial films are also being made for or converted into the IMAX format and we plan to screen them here as well, so the cinema will be educational and entertainment.”
Work on the project starts in September and should be complete in one year. “The feasibility process is being conducted for awarding consultancy,” Mr Usman said.
Mr Usman also said the Punjab government would take over historic places listed under the World Heritage Fund, i.e., the Shalamar Gardens and the Lahore Fort, from the federal government on July 1.
He said the Punjab government plans to form a board of governors to manage these historic sites. “We plan to create a Special Heritage Fund which we hope to start off with Rs 100 million. This will allow us to spend the money directly. We also want to bring in international experts to help us preserve these places,” he said.