Every year as the ‘Ramzan’ crescent is sighted, it is curtains at the Shama theatre popularly known as the Shama talkies, in Jahanuma area of the old city. In fact, it is the only cinema hall in the city to suspend screening of movies in the holy month of Ramzan.
Practice on for 14 years
The practice has been in vogue for the past 14 years and is being followed without any break more like a tradition. The theatre was established in the year 1982 but the practice to stop screening of movies during Ramzan began in 1999.
“Respecting the religious significance of the month the management decides to close down this theatre situated in midst of a populated area of old city. We are in the practice of closing down the theatre for a month since 1999 and during the closure period take up maintenance works,” says A. Krishna, assistant manager of the theatre. The cinema is owned by Jaffer Hussain, former Deputy Mayor of Hyderabad.
Many residents around old city welcome the closure of theatre and feel others should also follow suit. “It is a good move on the part of Shama theatre management,” says Syed Sulaman al Hassani.
Staff not affected
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. “We also get festival bonus,” says an employee.
A sign board that reads ‘the theatre will re-open on the Eid day’ is hung out for visitors, a regular sight during the month of Ramzan.
Till the closure of the theatre the management had screened ‘Cocktail’ and plans to screen ‘Ek tha Tiger’ movie starring Salman Khan when it reopens on the day of Eid. Of course, one could well imagine the rush here.