28/02/2015 1:48 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Pakistan Loses Historic Taj Mahal Cinema

In this Sunday, April 29, 2012 photo, a Pakistani man looks at a board displayed on it advertisements of a local movie, outside Taj Mahal cinema in Abbottabad, Pakistan. One year since U.S. commandos flew into this army town and killed Osama bin Laden, Pakistan has tried to close one of the most notorious chapters in its history. The compound that housed him for six years was razed to the ground, and the wives and children who shared the hideaway were flown to Saudi Arabia just last week. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

The Taj Mahal cinema of Abbottabad city, with a 66-year history of film exhibition in this Pakistan frontier city, is being dismantled after its owner recently sold the property.

Mohammad Saeed Khan, who was hitherto running the Taj Mahal cinema in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial city for the last four decades, said business was at full swing till 2010 with Abbottabad, being a tourist city, providing entertainment to visitors, Dawn reported.

But in recent years, the cinema business has dwindled and this forced the owner to sell the property.

Built in 1948 by Mohammad Khan Hoti, the cinema hall once used to be full to its 600-seat capacity. However, Hoti sold the property in 1974.

Saeed Khan said the decline of the cinema exhibition industry started with the falling fortunes of the Pakistan film industry which failed to produce quality movies.

He said the arrival of internet, CDs, cable and other sources of entertainment also resulted in the gradual decline of the cinema industry in Pakistan.

He said that for the last two years, not a single show -- even on the first day of a new film -- could attract more than 200 spectators.

According to him, the worsening law and order situation was another major reason for the decline of the business as fears of blasts and other terrorist activities kept film lovers away from cinema houses.