Kerala

After long wait, big screen comes alive today

A trial run of No Time to Die at a cinema in Kozhikode on Tuesday ahead of the reopening of theatres in Kerala.  

The relief is palpable in A.R. Vinod’s voice. “Yes, finally things are looking up for us, after a most harrowing time,” he says.

His sentiment is shared by hundreds of theatre-owners across the State. They are all relieved as they could screen films from Wednesday, for the first time in six months.

Mr. Vinod, proprietor of Crown Theatre in Kozhikode, is confident that film fans will be back in front of the big screen in large numbers once again. The COVID-19 pandemic may have seen the OTT platforms such as Amazon Prime and Netflix grow exponentially in popularity, but for most people, the experience of watching James Bond’s latest adventure in a theatre will not be as enjoyable on a television set.

Pradeep Nair, a national-award winning director, is planning to watch the new Bond film, No Time To Die, in a theatre on Wednesday. He has been badly missing the experience of going to the movies.

He watches all the latest releases in theatres, mostly in his hometown Kottayam. “I have watched a lot of films online during the lockdown, but there is nothing quite like watching a film in a theatre,” Mr. Pradeep says. “As a filmmaker and as a viewer of cinema, I am happy that our theatres are finally reopening.”

But the theatres are allowed to have only half the capacity. “I hope the Government will let us sell tickets for all the available seats before long,” Mr. Vinod says. “Only then will we be able to cover at least some of the huge losses made over the last one-and-a-half years.”

The theatre owners have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic. “Even when there was no show, I had to spend something like ₹1.25 lakh every month as maintenance cost,” he says. “Most of us had to depend on bank loans.”

He hopes several big films that are lined up for release over the next few months will bring the smile back on an industry that has taken a severe beating.


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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 7:15:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/after-long-wait-big-screen-comes-alive-today/article37178382.ece

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