Motion Pictures Archive of Pakistan



Cinemas of Pakistan

Cinema-headerCinema is suppose to be the foundation of film industry which was once taken as the height of decent entertaining situate is now becoming almost neglected place in Pakistan. It may because of the declining standard of movies, poor internal environments of cinema halls, old version of projection systems, sub standard sound system or what ever but one thing is confirmed that the induction of sex and violence in mid seventies has disappointed the serious, mature and specially the family cinema audience. Resultantly there was a visible decrease in the numbers of cinemas in mid nineties, which was left two hundred and fifty out of eighteen hundred. But at present the state of number of cinema is almost alarming which is decreased up to less hundred rather below of it.

And there are obvious reasons behind the abnormal decrease, like it is a weighty investment but the return is very little, poor and repeated subjects of films, loud pitched, below the standard movies and unattractive subjects for families has not only disappointed the masses rather severely affected the turn over, resultantly cinema owners have started quitting this business and preferring other investment ventures like shopping plazas, gas pumps, markets and marriage or theater halls.

Consequently, presently more than fifty cities and towns of Pakistan are without any single operational cinema house. Present prevailing security scenario of the country is another factor which has played a vital role in affecting the turn over of cinema spectators. Anyhow this page is formulated to give viewers a statistical run down of past and present cinemas in Pakistan. Click here to view the state of cinemas at present.



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 Statistics of Cinemas of Pakistan

Cinemas of Pakistan

Here is the Statically summary of the cinemas ever built in all over Pakistan with their latest status.

 Area  Total  Closed


Punjab Cinemas 623 538 NC


Sindh Cinemas

281 238 NC 43

Baluchistan Cinemas

29 27 NC 2

KPK Cinemas

70 62 NC 8

Azad Kashmir Cinemas

11 11 NC 0

Gilgit Baltistan Cinemas

3 3 NC 0

Touring Talkies Cinemas

45 0 45 0


880 NC 138

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Statistics of Cinemas of Punjab

Here is the statical summary of some of the main cities’s cinemas ever built in all over Punjab with their latest status.



Closed Demolished Running Remarks
  Punjab Cinemas 623 537 NC


  Bahawalpur Cinemas 13 10 45


  Dera Ghazi Khan Cinemas 6 6 NC


  Faisalabad Cinemas 34 24 NC


  Gujranwala Cinemas 23 16 NC


  Gujrat Cinemas 17 15 NC


  Jehlum Cinemas 9 9 NC


  Kharian Cinemas 7 7 NC


  Lahore Cinemas 91 8 NC


  Leyya Cinemas 6 6 NC 0  
  Multan Cinemas 34 23 NC 11  
  Muzafargarh Cinemas 7 7 NC 0  
  Okara Cinemas 14 12 NC 2  
  Rawalpindi Cinemas 25 18 NC 7  
  Sahiwal Cinemas 10 10 NC 0  
  Sargodha Cinemas 11 6 3 5  
  Sheikhupura Cinemas 8 8 NC 0  
  Sialkot Cinemas 18 12 NC 6  
  Vihari Cinemas 9 9 NC 0  

For rest of cities see below ….

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Statistics of Sindh Cinemas

Here is the statical summary of some of the main cities’s cinemas ever built in all over Sindh with their latest status.



Closed Demolished Running Remarks
  Sindh Cinemas 281 238 NC 43  
  Karachi Cinemas 141 103 45 38  
  Hyderabad Cinemas 22 19 NC 3  
  Sakhar Cinemas 8 8 NC 0  
  Mirpur Khas Cinemas 6 5 NC 1  
  Larkana Cinemas 5 5 NC 0  

  For rest of cities see below ….

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Statistics of Khyber Pakhtonkhawa Cinemas

Here is the statical summary of some of the main cities’s cinemas ever built in all over KPK with their latest status.



Demolished Running Remarks
  KPK Cinemas 70 62 NC 8  
  Peshawar Cinemas 16 10 NC 6  
  Mardan Cinemas 4 4 NC 0  
  Abbotabad Cinemas 6 6 NC 0  
  D. I. Khan Cinemas 4 4 NC 0  
  Kohat Cinemas 5 5 NC 0  
  Risalpur Cinemas 4 4 45 0  

 For rest of cities see below ….

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Statistics of Baluchistan Cinemas

Here is the Statically summary of the cinemas ever built in all over Baluchistan with their latest status.



Closed Demolished Running Remarks
  Baluchistan Cinemas 29


NC 3  
  Quetta Cinemas 7 4 NC 3  
  Jacobabad Cinemas 4 4 NC 0  
  Gawadar Cinemas 2 2 NC 0  
  Moro Cinemas 2 2 NC 0  

 For rest of cities see below ….

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Azad Kashmir

Statistics of Cinemas in Azad Kashmir

Here is the Statically summary of the cinemas ever built in Azad Kashmir with their latest status.



Closed Converted Demolished Existing Remarks
 Chak Sawari 1 1 NC NC None   
 Chiri Kas 1 1 NC NC None   
 Muzafarabad 2 2 NC NC None   
 Mirpur 4 4 NC NC None   
 Kotli 3 3 NC NC None   
Total 11 11 NC NC None   

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Cinema Present Up-Down

At present, though the cinema theater is growing and progressing in all over the world, transforming from old projection system to new modern IMAX, Cineplex and digital orientation but here in Pakistan the situation is altogether different. What to talk of new induction, the existing cinemas are either being demolished or converted into theaters etc. what could be the reasons for this decline in cinema industry? Well cinema is suppose be the showcase of final product of film industry and it has to prove the advertisement of any film project made by the production team.

Inspired by the advertisement the film spectator need a recreation in form of what is being projected but most importantly how it is being presented…. Is the spectator is comfortable with cinema interior environment or is cursing while sitting inside the cinema once things are other way round.

Resultantly, in future he would not only give a second thought to the idea of watching film on that particular cinema house but he would create a hindrance for others as well. So conveniently we may say that the poor cinema condition which include uncomfortable seating infrastructure, old vintage cinema projection system, load shedding, country’s security conditions and above of all the sub-standard material being projected on silver screen are the major factors, increasing the gulf in between cinema and spectator. It is said in showbiz world that the turnover of families would dictate the success of that particular show.

Taranum-cinemaThe major factor of decline of cinema is the prevailing security scenario of the country, bomb blasts, suicidal attacks on gathering public places, protests, religious negative activists and many other social issues have taken the cinema spectator far away from the cinema world.In Lahore, out of eighty four cinemas, fifty five have been razed, some of them were converted into, drama plays commercial theater like Naz and Mehfil cinemas, plazas, marriage halls and fuel filling stations. Within last ten years, nine cinemas had been closed primarily due to non-availability of Pakistani films which include Galaxy, Moonlight, Taj, Ratan, Empire, Al-mumtaz, Nagina, Sangeet and Mubarik. 

But in spite of all above mentioned hurdles, new innovative ideas in cinema industry are being introduced, with assurance of fool proof security system, comfortable cinema interior environment the cinema lovers with families are getting attracted towards cinemas because people wants to watch movies.


Cinemas set into Fire

cinema burning headline

In September 2012, nine Cinema Houses set into fire in Karachi, Peshawar & Quetta by the protestors, gathered against film ‘Innocence of Muslims’During protest and shutter down strike against Innocence of Muslims, the protesters showed their arrogance by destroying the cinemas on September 21, 2012. Nigar CinemaIn Karachi, protestors burnt or damaged Capri, Prince, Nishat (M.A.Jinnah road), Bombino (Abdullah Haroon road), Sikala, Nargis, Lalazar and Gulistan (Landhi). Shabistan, Shama, Naz and Capital cinema in Peshawar became the victim of the protestors. Two cinemas of Quetta also came under this protest fire. These were few cinemas which were striving hard to revive the cinema in Pakistan but their damage further enhance the hurdle in revival of cinema. These were the lead cinemas of Karachi, with their destruction Karachi cinema exhibitor industry is almost finished.




Touring Talkies

Touring Talkies are primarily the mobile mini cinemas as it used to be at the time of beginning of cinema. Some of these touring cinemas remains on the move from city to city in collaboration with various religious/traditional festivals and fairs. But mostly these are permanently based in certain towns, Tehsil where either no cinema or theater is present or it attracts the public of the area linked with small villages or towns. These cinemas are housed in canvas surroundings with projection booth in a wooden compartment, usually without any roof top. Here is a complete list of touring talkies which are functional in Pakistan at the moment but it is worth mentioning that these touring keeps on closing/opening without any prior intimation to the authority concerned.



Detailed list of all cinemas / Touring Talkies in Pakistan



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Dear Viewers,

Undoubtedly, all the artists and professionals of cine-world have indeed worked very hard, spent their days and nights in making motion pictures just to amuse and entertain us. Some of their film work proved to be a master piece but what so ever their business status was; one factor is established that it is now part of our cultural history. Unfortunately, mostly their work being destroyed just because of the mentioned reasons while negating its importance. Thus there is dire need to do some arrangements to preserve it with the same zeal and enthusiasm what rest of the world is doing.



"Now its our obligatory compulsion to preserve their work, you may also contribute and assist mpaop in preserving and restoring our cultural heritage by sharing some information, if you possess in shape of documents, film prints (any format like 8, 16, 35mm, videos etc). In this regard if you have some query or you can be of any help in this cause please Contact here…! "



Further more, in case of any inaccuracy, omission, addition, deletion, or submission, please assist mpaop in updating the information, your due participation in preserving the national heritage would be highly appreciated and after its analysis /approval by the research team, your contribution would immediately be reflected on this page with due veneration.

Thank you & profound regards,



Curator mpaop (Motion Picture Archive of Pakistan)

Tahir Nadeem


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