A Hall Full of Cinema

A hall full of cinema” documents the Manoshi Cinema, a 72 year old cinema hall, located in Old Dhaka, Bangladesh. In recent years the cinema halls are diminishing in Bangladesh. This is due to cost cuts, improper maintenance, poor production of the films, the emergence of new technologies like satellite TV channels, and pirated DVDs, to name a few. Still, besides all these limitations and challenges, the Old Manoshi Cinema Hall remains a full house every weekend. It is a tradition to go to Manoshi Cinema. I want to document this magical place and the people who visit it.

Since I was a child, I have been a fan of movies. During my childhood, we would always go to cinema hall, and I always enjoyed its magical atmosphere, the audience, the dark hall, the projection, amongst other details. The hall itself was so magical. Since, I have been very interested in cinemas.

Once glazed with the traditional architecture of Old Dhaka, today, the building only preserves torn plaster walls and nearly broken chairs. Most of the audiences belong to lower-income group who prefer to watch action films. Along with its cinema lovers, drug addicts and prostitutes also come and merge in the actions. About 25 staffs work non-stop behind the curtain and some of them lodge inside the hall. It seems that the atmosphere of this place forms another cinema. While I was taking photographs, all these characters inside and outside screen amused me with their actions and reactions. This story is about the people of this magical atmosphere.