Art And Culture

New Cineplex Planned in Ekbatan

 The Megamall in Ekbatan Township The Megamall in Ekbatan Township

A new cinema complex is to be added to the Cineplex of Ekbatan Township in the western part of Tehran by next year.

At a ceremony held at Ekbatan's   Megamall, film producer Manouchehr Mohammadi, who is in charge of equipping the Cineplex said launching such modern cinemas is a step toward developing the film industry, ISNA reported.

Special space was earmarked for cinema halls when the construction of the megamall, a large commercial cultural complex in western Tehran, began in 2008. However, since the inauguration of the complex in 2012, the Cineplex has not been equipped and used. Located on the third floor, the movie theaters are next to toy shops, bookstores, coffee shops and a theme park. Following consultations with planners and experts, the seven halls - with a capacity of 1,200 seats - will be operational in less than a year and have modern equipment and facilities.

"Tehran as a megalopolis needs such spaces. Film production in the country has reached a desirable status and we need a large number of theaters to screen the films," the managing director of Farabi Cinema Foundation Alireza Tabesh said.

As he pointed out, the private sector has entered the field in recent years and invested in building several cinema complexes in the rapidly expanding capital.

High quality cinema halls are a key factor in attracting audiences that eventually helps the movie industry. As a matter of fact, most of the movie theaters in the country - there are about 450 halls across Iran -- are owned by state/government organizations. There is a negative aspect to such cinemas; their owners (state officials) are unmindful of the fact whether the cinemas make a profit or not. They don't think of innovative ways to attract more audiences and even if a few people turn up at every showing, the films are screened.

"Constructing movie halls is the best strategy to strengthen the cultural sector," Tabesh added.

  Ekbatan Residents Pleased

Launching the Cineplex with seven halls by next year is good news for the residents of Ekbatan as the 40-year-old township with a population of over 45,000 has had no cinemas to date.

Located in a 19-hectare plot, Tehran Megamall has five floors of shopping arcade with an area of 200,000 sq meters. A 4-star international hotel, grand restaurant hall, children's playground and a three-storey parking lot for 2,800 cars are the other facilities at the complex.

Tehran Megamall is the first of its kind in Iran built according to international standards. Dubbed as 'Big Bazaar' in Persian, the shopping center includes chain stores for food, clothing, cosmetics and furniture and home appliances. Reaching the center is quite easy for the public as it is situated near the Ekbatan Township metro station.

Modern cineplexes built in Tehran in recent years such as Kourosh in the west, Charsou in downtown and Mellat in the north have helped increase the number of filmgoers substantially and more complexes are expected to be met with enthusiastic public reception.