Urban dwellers in the country will tell you the advent of DStv and DVDs has helped kill cinemas which used to offer fun moments to people of all ages groups.
In the 1970s, cinema was a must. Fun-seekers refuse to slide backwards even if the cinema industry has not moved forward in the past two decades.
After years of no movie theatres, the city of Blantyre has one place, Cinecity. The venue at Chichiri Shopping Mall was established to resuscitate the dying cinema culture.
The movie house has two rooms which accommodate about 490 people and most films on show are fairy new releases from Hollywood and Bollywood. They come on a big screen too. However, local movies are clearly absent on the menu, notwithstanding that the venue two years ago beamed Sila Bacilli’s Baba’s Song, directed by Swiss Wolfhang Panzer.
Shemu Joyah, director of the award-winning Seasons of a Life says lack of Hollywood’s quality equipment is enough reason local filmmakers and the movie industry has stagnated in the time the world is graduating to 3D motion pictures.
He, however, he hopes the industry improves with time and greater investment.
“Efforts are underway to ensure people have fun as in the past.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“As film producers, we are strategising on how to develop it. In two to three years, the cinema industry should satisfy the needs of entertainment lovers across the country,” says Joyah, adding they lack shooting and projecting systems.
He decries that most local movies are shot on DVDs, not the reels as recommended by most cinemas and foreign film houses.
“Until such a time when we have movies on reels, we should begin a new era,” he says.
Joyah says local film producers should be oriented so to overcome the challenges as did Zambia, South Africa and Zimbabwe where the cinema culture is flourishing.