Chennai, August 26 (IANS)
Even after the state government has given permission to reopening of Cinema theaters from August 23, only 20% reopened. Around 30% will be reopening the theaters on Thursday and Friday.
However 50% of the theaters, especially in rural areas will reopen only after new Tamil films are released. This was revealed by the industry sources.
In Madurai, Dindigul, Coimbatore, Erode, and Trichy there are multiplexes, and the owners of these cinema halls are bent to reopen by August 26 and August 27 with the screening of Hindi and English movies. In several rural areas where small theaters catering to the village population are situated, the owners will reopen only in September with the release of new Tamil movies.
Mariappan, owner of Ashirvad theater in Cumbum while speaking to IANS said, “I will reopen my theater only with the release of a Tamil movie as people here prefer to watch movies made in Tamil language. Even if I reopen my theater before that, there will be very few people in attendance. Hence I’ve decided to reopen my theater with a Tamil movie in September.”
It is to be noted that several theaters which were shut down due to Covid -19 had to spend anywhere between Rs 5 to Rs 10 lakh a month for maintenance and most of the owners are worried whether the audience would return to theaters.
Raghavan M.P. owner of a theater in Coimbatore while speaking to IANS said, “I have been spending heavily from my pocket for maintaining my theater. I don’t know whether the people would return to theaters to watch movies. It is not because of the OTT platforms and all, the fear of a Covid -19 third wave is high among the public. Once the fear quotient is gone, I am certain that the crowd would return to theater as watching a movie in a big screen with full proof audio system is totally different from an OTT platform.”
PVR cinemas which has 83 screens at 13 properties in Chennai, Coimbatore and Vellore will reopen its theaters from Thursday. The group, according to a statement, will release movies, “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It “, “Bell Bottom”, “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard”.
Most of the industry people said that by the middle of September the movie industry of Tamil Nadu will be normal. However, most are keeping their fingers crossed as the possibility of a third wave of Covid -19 looms large in the minds of most of the theater owners. I
t is to be noted that in Tamil Nadu with around 1200 screens and more than 6 lakh seatings, a day’s closure would lead to a loss of around Rs 8 crore.
Tamil Nadu is one state in the country that has produced several political leaders from the film industry with the former Chief Minister’s M.G. Ramachandran, M. Karunanidhi and J. Jayalalithaa. This shows that the life of people and movie industry is interrelated and Tamil film industry has a major influence in the day-to-day lives of people.