Andhra Pradesh

It’s show time for movie buffs

A worker cleaning a theatre in Vijayawada on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: K.V.S. GIRI

After downing the shutters for nearly three months, the exhibitors in the State have decided to screen films from Friday.

However, only 10% of the theatres in the State are likely to screen movies.

The movie that was last screened in the theatres was the Pawan Kalyan-starrer ‘Vakeel Saab’.

The theatre owners had voluntarily downed the shutters after the film was made available on Amazon Prime.

According to information, the exhibitors want to test the waters in view of the prevailing pandemic. They are apprehensive that the theatre owners may not be able to cope with the expenditure if the turnout is poor.

Besides, the government has put a cap of 50% on occupancy. Again, as the curfew hours are still in vogue, there is no possibility of second show. So, the exhibitors have to meet the expenses with the revenue generated through three shows in a day.

The exhibitors say that there are not many big-budget films that can pull the movie buffs to the theatres. About five medium budget movies are being released in the near future.

‘Ishq’ and ‘Timmarusu’ are among the few movies that will be screened from Friday. The others include, ‘Narasimhapuram’, ‘Thrayam’, and ‘Parigedutu - Parigedutu’.

“A few exhibitors want to wait until the State government takes a decision on the ticket price. At present, the rates are as low as ₹5 to ₹10 in the ‘C’ class areas. The industry has been representing the government to consider a hike in the rates,” says T. Sai Prasad, Vijayawada Exhibitors’ Association secretary.

There are about 1,100 theatres in the State, 60 in Vijayawada alone.

But due to COVID-19, there was a steep fall in the occupancy, which forced the exhibitors to stop the shows.

The theatre owners had to down the shutters as the collections were far less than the amount they had to spend on maintenance, salaries, taxes, and adhering to the COVID-19 protocols.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 10:19:14 AM |

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