Karnataka

Shree Nagaraja theatre winds up

The facade of Shree Nagaraja Talkies in Mysuru.   | Photo Credit: M.A. Sriram

Shree Nagaraja theatre situated at the junction of Kabir Road and Benki Nawab Street in Mandi Mohalla has become the latest single-screen theatre in the city to wind up operations.

It had attracted film-goers for several decades by screening latest Hindi and Kannada hit films, besides English and other language movies also.

The 650-seater had not screened any movie for more than a year now since COVID-19 lockdown was declared in March 2020. Rajaram, Secretary of Mysuru Theatre Owners Association, told Shree Nagaraja will no longer screen any movies and the theatre owners had put the building up for sale.

Shree Nagaraja’s closure follows the closure of Shantala Talkies on Narayana Shastri Road in K.R. Mohalla last year.

Shree Nagaraja becomes the tenth single-screen theatre to wind up operations in Mysuru in the last few years. Out of the 21 theatres, which were screening movies in the early nineties, only 11 are remaining in the city today, Mr. Rajaram said.

Ganesh, Ratna and Vidyaranyawere among the first to close operations in the nineties.

The other single-screen theatres which remain only in memory include Ranjit, Opera, Chamundeshwari, Sreenand, and Olympia.

Sources in the theatre business in Mysuru said three more theatres in Mysuru were up for sale. “Though the three are presently screening movies, they will stop doing so if buyers come forward”, said the source.

Meanwhile, Mr. Rajaram, who owns Gayathri theatre on Chamaraja Double Road, said the taxes were too heavy for theatre owners to profitably run their businesses. Contending that the property tax alone for Shree Nagaraja was more than ₹1.2 lakh per annum, besides trade licence, which costs another ₹20,000 to ₹25,000, Mr. Rajaram said theatre owners would prefer to sell their properties and plough the returns on some other business.

While closure of single-screen theatres is considered a huge loss to the cinegoers in the city, multiplexes had come up in different malls. Even though the capacity of a multiplex may be higher, the seating capacity in each screen of the multiplex will be lesser than single-screen theatres, Mr. Rajaram said.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 9:49:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/shree-nagaraja-theatre-winds-up/article34359754.ece

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