Watch out for more film screens

Updated - May 23, 2016 06:57 pm IST

Published - October 30, 2014 01:26 pm IST - BANGALORE:

It appears that the recent trend of film exhibitors razing cinemas in view of dwindling profits and paving the way for commercial complexes may end shortly.

The government has framed the Karnataka Cinemas (Regulation) Rules, 2014, by exercising powers under Section 19 of the Karnataka Cinemas (Regulation) Act, 1964, to provide impetus to cinema owners to create more screens, besides modernising existing theatres. The Karnataka Cinemas (Regulation) Rules, 2014 was gazetted on October 7.

Under the changed rules, cinema owners are permitted to use a portion of the total space available to construct commercial complexes. The government has relaxed rules pertaining to issuing licence and no objection certificate for construction and renovation of cinemas, minimum number of seats fixed per area, parking of vehicles, and width of aisles, among other things.

The decision will allow conversion of single-screen cinemas into multi-screen cinemas and utility spots. With this, the number of multiplexes will increase and the ticket price will come down because of competition, said K.V. Chandrashekar, president of the Karnataka Film Exhibitors’ Federation (KFEF).

The government framed the rules following recommendations by a committee headed by senior bureaucrat M.V. Jayanthi. The committee had representatives of the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) and the KFEF, officials of the Home Department, and deputy commissioners of all districts as its members.

The committee was formed after the KFCC submitted a memorandum in October 2011 seeking formation of rules under the Act.

After considering the predicament of big-screen owners and that many people were staying away from cinemas because of high price of tickets, the government agreed to change the rules, Mr. Chandrashekar said.

Sources in the KFCC said the number of multiplexes is likely to overtake single-screen theatres in Bangalore in view of five new malls coming up in the city.

‘Mars’ Suresh, a distributor, said besides the eight-screen Cinepolis multiplex coming up near the old Binny Mills, five multiplexes were coming up in Nagavara, Yelahanka and Whitefield.

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