Amidst the controversy over the early morning screening of Tamil movies ‘Thunivu’ and ‘Varisu’ starring actors Ajith Kumar and Vijay respectively, the State Government has initiated the process of taking action against cinema theatre owners who violated the prohibitory orders.
In Chennai, show cause notices have been issued to owners of cinema theatres where the screening of the Pongal releases commenced at 1 am on January 11, 2023. In almost all the districts, Superintendents of Police have sent reports to the District Collectors giving details of the cinema theatres where the special shows were screened without permission and sought appropriate action against the concerned persons, police sources told ‘The Hindu’ on Wednesday.
In some places, the police said by organising the special screening of the movies of popular heroes early in the morning, the cinema theatre owners had caused an extraordinary situation where any conflict between fans would have resulted in a statewide law and order problem, the sources said. While Police Commissioners in cities were empowered to issue show cause notices, in districts, the Collectors, as licencing authorities, would call for explanation from the theatre owners, the sources said.
Despite a specific order prohibiting early morning shows of the two movies released, cinema theatre owners went ahead with the screening which drew a huge congregation of fans of both the popular actors. There were also allegations that tickets were sold at exorbitant rates.
A day before the screening, the Home Secretary issued an order directing the licencing authorities “to take necessary action in order to prohibit the early morning release shows and charging at exorbitant rates of admission during such shows of the release of the new films in accordance with the condition 14-A of Form “C” licence under the Tamil Nadu Cinemas (Regulation) Rules, 1957 and to also take action against any violations.”
In one district, the Superintendent of Police in his report to the District Collector said even a small altercation among the people who had gathered at the theatres for the early morning shows would have led to a major issue in the State. The SPs have called for legal action against a large number of cinema theatre owners in the State, the sources added.