Blame it on rising operational costs, changing lifestyles or real estate boom, many single-screen theatres in Vijayawada are paving way to marriage halls, residential apartments and commercial complexes. In tune with the changing contours of the city, couple of multiplexes have already come up and two more are in the offing.
In the past, there were close to 60 single-screen theatres here, and the number has come down to 48. While theatres like Urvasi and Shanthi have been upgraded to multiplexes, rest of them like Kanakadurga, Venkateswara, Vijaya, Radha, Jyoti and Mohandas are either transformed into function halls, godowns, apartments or demolished.
Vijayawada is considered as Mecca of cinema in Andhra Pradesh. But, unfortunately the single screen theatre business is losing its sheen owing to tax burden and dipping returns.
It has become tough for theatre owners to run the show and that’s the reason many are being demolished or transformed into apartments, says R.V. Bhoopal Prasad, former president of Vijayawada Exhibitors’ Association.Operational cost
The operational cost of the single screen is anywhere between Rs.3.5 lakh and Rs.5 lakh per month.
The more important factor is real estate. For a single screen theatre, close to 2000 yards place is required and a multiplex can come up in 800 to 1000 yards. Given the escalating land costs, multiplexes which offer the convenience of shopping, food courts and play stations for children seem to be the flavour of season, adds Mr. Prasad.