Star Cineplex celebrated its 18th year on October 8. It would be in 2004 that Star Cineplex would bring out the first multiplex cinema theatre in Bangladesh.
The journey over these last 18 years has not been easy for the organisation. “The first two years, we had to reignite the cinema culture in Bangladesh. Right around that time, many halls had closed down, and people had forgotten about the experience of going to cinemas. So we entered this industry, which was almost dying, with our own multiplex cinema hall. It was quite a risky venture,” said Mahboob Rahman Ruhel, the founder of Star Cineplex.
Rahman also revealed to those in attendance at the anniversary celebration that there were times when he believed everything would end. This meant that cinemas would cease to exist in Bangladesh. This was especially true throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nonetheless, watching movies is in our DNA. Attending the theatre is a social activity. Consequently, during COVID, many individuals came to our aid. Our Bashundhara Star Cinema was slated for closure, and we had even announced it. Then, however, I observed how the community rallied behind us, with everyone from Jaya Ahsan to other celebrities expressing their support. Rahman recalled, “That’s when I realised that Star Cineplex is not our own brand, but rather a brand of the people of Bangladesh.
The founder and film producer then discussed his plans that someday, Star Cineplex would have 100 screens across Bangladesh. He also praised the Honourable Prime Minister for creating the initiative that allows hall owners to take long-term loans, with minimal interest, if they want to build more cinema halls.
A passionate Rahman then discussed the success of Bangladeshi films in recent years, listing off names like “Hawa”, “Poran”, “Rehana Maryam Noor”, and “Operation Sundarban”. He also mentioned that “Hawa” had broken all of their box-office records.
The man behind the screenplay of “No Dorai” also noted the recent success of OTT. However, he mentioned that while OTT has changed the Bangladeshi audience’s taste for content, it cannot encapsulate the same feeling as when going to the cinema hall and watching a movie on the big screen.
“The fact that Bangladeshi films are beating franchises like ‘Avengers’ and ‘Avatar’ at the box office is great news for all of us. Hopefully, we’ll see a beautiful future for cinema in Bangladesh,” finished Rahman.