Cinemas in Colombo are yet to see halls run full at nights.

Cinemas in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo are still debating if they should open the late night shows. A few years ago this was unthinkable owing to the unrest in the island nation. People shunned unnecessary gatherings, and there was always only a sparse crowd in all the movie halls — watching a movie was akin to bravery.

All that changed in May 2009, and the cinema halls, which were in very bad shape, slowly began to look better. Most of the movie halls got a face-lift, some went in for advanced technologies, and others are in talks with techie biggies in the entertainment biz in India to put up state-of-the-art equipment in their halls. Now, many Hindi flicks release here simultaneously as they do in India (and worldwide). So do many Tamil films.

The show timings still remain mostly day and evening. Most Cinemas have a morning show around 10 am; the last show begins at about 7 pm. No 10 pm show. When this was brought to the notice of a senior administration authority, he said that there was legally no problem for the Cinemas to run a late night show. There is also the recent case of a Cinema running weekend shows late night, just as a test case. The only problem: It did not seem to attract too many people.