Chennai, March 31 (BPNS)
The Greater Chennai Corporation on Thursday sealed the famous Albert movie theater in the city for non-payment of taxes including property tax and entertainment tax. While the theater has dues of Rs 50 lakhs as property tax, it has to pay an amount of Rs 14 lakhs for entertainment tax.
This sealing of the theater has come as a rude shock for the moviegoers as several new movies are to be released in the theater including ‘Beast’ by Tamil Superstar Vijay.
A senior official with the Greater Chennai Corporation(GCC) while speaking to BPNS said, “ The theater has to pay 51 lakhs as property tax and 14 lakhs as entertainment tax. There has been long-pending tax due for the theater for the past four to five years and we had to seal it after a long-drawn battle with the theater owners.”
The Corporation officials said that the theater owners were citing the Covid pandemic as an excuse for non-payment of tax for the past couple of years. However, he said that the dues date back to more than four years and had nothing to do with the Covid -19 pandemic.
It may be noted that GCC has classified theaters as ‘A-class and ‘B’ class and Albert theater falls under the category of ‘B’. The ‘B’ class theaters have to pay 6.5 percent of their revenue as property tax and it has to pay 15 percent as the entertainment tax.
Manoharan Raj, a 45-year-old movie buff while speaking to BPNS said, “Albert theater has given me several fond memories including watching movies during our growing up age with parents, friends and even with a girlfriend. The theater management must immediately settle the issue with the Chennai corporation and pay the tax amount and make the most popular theater open to normalcy.”