Second drive-in cinema project in Pakistan hits snag after Facebook ban

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Islamabad, May 26 (ANI): It has emerged that a second drive-in cinema project, which was being organised by a separate group of students in Pakistan, has hit some snags following the ban on Facebook.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had imposed a ban on Facebook in the wake of a Lahore High Court (LHC) order.

The first drive-in cinema project, 'Cine Drive' had been organised as a class project by some students from the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST).

Inspired by their success a group of four students, Pir Ali Gul, Ali Dadi, Shahrukh Ali and Muhammad Salman, all from separate universities, decided to follow up.

They started marketing their project, 'Cinema on Wheels', on Facebook.

"Everything was going well, until the Facebook ban halted all progress," the News quoted Gul as saying.

Marketing for the project had started a week before the ban on Facebook.

The group had been using the social networking website to host polls, asking potential customers to vote for the movies that they want screened.

Among English movies, the choice was between Ace Ventura-1, 2012 and Dark Knight; while in Indian films, users were asked to vote for either Sholay, Dil Chahta Hai or Hera Pheri.

"As per our last updates, Sholay and Ace Ventura-1 were leading the polls, but since the ban, not only has the voting stopped, people are also confused whether the project is actually going ahead or not," Gul revealed.

The Facebook ban, the group said, had badly affected small businesses and events organised by students like them, who take on small initiatives to provide alternative forms of entertainment.

"Groups such as ours don't have much of a budget. We can't spend money on billboards and heavy marketing; websites such as Facebook were our only option," they said.

They explained that the cost of arranging a drive-in cinema in a space such as the one opposite the National Sailing Club costs around Rs150,000 per day.

"If the Facebook ban is not lifted by May 31, as anticipated, the project may have to be cancelled for good," the group added. (ANI)

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