Hyderabad

Movie theatres in TS declare temporary closure

A deserted multiplex in Hyderabad on Friday.

A deserted multiplex in Hyderabad on Friday.   | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

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Protest against the “exorbitant” charges levied by digital service providers

Film-goers in several major towns of Telangana, including the State capital, missed their popular mode of entertainment as theatres remained closed on Friday.

Notice boards were put up at the entrances of several theatres announcing their temporary closure. The closure comes in the wake of the call for strike given by the Joint Action Committee of South Indian film producers in protest against the “exorbitant” virtual print fee (VPF) for southern regional language films.

According to sources in the South Indian Film Producers Council, the decision to shut down the theatres was taken after several rounds of talks between the producers and service providers failed. The exhibitors are unhappy that digital service providers continue to charge exorbitant amounts from distributors in the name of VPF in spite of assurances in the past that the fee would be phased out over a period of time.

Digital service providers supply equipment to project films in theatres, using satellites and levy a charge for the service which is borne by producers and theatre owners.

The exhibitors, however, allege that service providers are trying to recover the cost of equipment in a short period of time.

Though no timeline had been given for the strike, the closure would continue for the next few days as the film industry is firm on extracting an assurance on a fixed timeline for phasing out the fee from the service providers. The agitating industry had kept the government posted about the developments. Sources said discussions with the service providers were on and the issue would hopefully be resolved in a couple of days.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 9:20:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/movie-theatres-in-ts-declare-temporary-closure/article22911922.ece

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