Nearly 210 cinemas in 49 stations across the State affiliated to the Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation remained closed on Tuesday in protest against the ‘delay in the implementation of measures to save the Malayalam film industry from a crisis’.

The token strike was complete, as all the leading release centres remained shut to press our demands, said M. C. Bobby, general secretary of the federation.

Stating that the government should take immediate steps to implement the decisions taken by a committee headed by T. Balakrishnan, Additional Chief Secretary (Industries and Commerce), aimed at saving the industry, Mr. Bobby said that the authorities should also allow the exhibitors to increase the ticket rates for big budget movies on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Pointing out that the exhibitors were not getting adequate returns for big budget movies compared to the advance they provide to the producers prior to the release, Mr. Bobby said that a lion’s share of the profits for such movies during the weekend was cornered by the black marketers. He said that the distributor, exhibitor, producer, and the government would get the advantage, if the ticket rates during the weekend for big budget movies are increased.

Explaining that the exhibitors required additional revenue to step up their facilities in tune with the infrastructure available in multiplexes, Mr. Bobby said that a single window system was required to solve the problems being faced by the Malayalam film industry. He said that the government should also take initiative in unifying the ticket rates across various release centres in the State.