A multi-storey shopping mall comprising an international brand of the grocery store and a number of national and international food, garment, shoes, coffee and other reputed names is going to replace the ancient building housing Odeon Cinema and a library. The 120-year old building is going to become a part of the past, thanks to Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) which has decided to demolish the structure next month and construct a shopping mall at the place.
The RCB has conveyed its decision to the local management of the Odeon Cinema and library after getting a green signal from higher authorities in the Military Lands and Cantonments in this regard. Rawalpindi’s residents have, however, seen the move with much irritation saying it would be a setback for the ancient heritage of the city.
The cinema house should not be replaced with a shopping mall, said a senior citizen Abduul Wahhab adding once the cinema, library and park were the main source of entertainment for the residents. He said the people cherished memories of the time when they found refuge and comfort in cinema and library from din of the city. He feared that the library would also be shifted from the place after construction of the shopping mall. “The library-going culture is vanishing and the trend is affecting the society,” he maintained.