The theatre has been suspending screening of movies in the holy month of Ramzan for the past 14 years, more like a tradition
The usual hustle bustle witnessed around any cinema theatre is missing. Instead, one can feel the pious mood in the Jahanuma area south of the city, with scores of people pouring out from a local mosque. The changed scenario is nothing new for the locals, but a cycle that repeats itself year after year.
Curtains are down at Shama theatre, popularly known as Shama Talkies. The three-decade old theatre suspends screening of movies in the holy month of Ramzan. In fact, is the only theatre in the twin cities that shuts during the month of fasting.
The practice has been in vogue for the past 14 years and is being followed without any break, more like a tradition. “The management decides to close down the theatre every year citing the religious significance of the month. Moreover, the attendance is not encouraging during the month,” says A. Krishna, assistant manager of the theatre. The theatre is owned by Jaffer Hussain, former Deputy Mayor of Hyderabad.
A signboard that reads ‘the theatre will re-open on the Eid day’ is hung out for visitors, a regular sight during the month of Ramzan.
The theatre was started in the year 1982 but the practice to close it down began in 1999 onwards.
Paid holiday for staff
However, it makes no difference for the employees. The management makes it a point to treat it as a paid holiday and pays their salary without any cuts.
Around 20 odd employees in the theatre get bonus apart from the salary, Mr. Krishna says.
The single screen theatre is one of the limited recreational places for the people in this part of the city and has managed to withstand the changing times.
“This year we are taking up renovation works including new seats,” he adds.
The first movie screened here was in the early 1980s with the hit film Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai produced and directed by Nasir Hussain starring Rishi Kapoor, Padmini Kolhapure and Amjad Khan. Later Nikaah, Dilwale and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge movies were screened for 100 days at the theatre.
When the theatre resumes business from the Eid day, one can well imagine the rush.