Report by Tehran Times; photos by Reza Ghaderi, Islamic Republic News Agency
Iranian filmgoers flock in front of Tehran's Azadi Cinema Complex on January 30, 2014.
Iran's movie theaters across the country hosted thousands of filmgoers, who, once again after a lapse of several years, were offered free admission on Thursday, the day named Greetings to Cinema Day by the Iran Cinema Organization (ICO). People who had not gone to cinema for many years along with interested filmgoers waited in the long queues to watch movies from the early hours of the day, the Persian service of MNA reported on Friday.
The idea was a cultural gift that the organization offered to mark the anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution, member of the ICO Managers' Council Ilbeigi had earlier said.
The theaters in the Enqelab neighborhood, a place where mostly university students are seen, were packed from the early hours, forcing the cinema owners to find better ways to give service to the public.
A 45-year old housewife said that she chose this day to take a rest and watch films with her friend.
Boys and girls who are film aficionados also welcomed the idea and gathered in groups to watch films.
Surprisingly, an elderly man who had not seen a movie in a cinema for more than 30 years, was also standing in line to watch a film.
Ilbeigi, who was also seen among the crowd to observe the project, believed that part of the large participation goes back to the free tickets and the rest is due to widespread coverage by newspapers, television and other media.
However, if people can watch good movies in a cinema, Iran's theaters will see more filmgoers during the rest of the year, not as crowded as this, of course.
Ilbeigi also received the news that movie theaters in other cities, including in Khorramabad (Lorestan Province), Rasht (Gilan Province), Arak (Markazi Province) and Shiraz (Fars Province), were all full in the early hours of the day,.
Moreover, Iranians can also watch their favorite movies in theaters free of charge on one more day, September 12, which is Iran's National Day of Cinema.
ICO Director Hojjatollah Ayyubi believes that the large crowd of people on this day shows that people like cinema, and we must make our best efforts to offer the project in the best possible way.
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