50% movie theatre occupancy: Kannada film industry question govt’s dual policy


Team Udayavani, Feb 3, 2021, 4:00 PM IST

Bengaluru: The Kannada movie industry is irked by the State government’s limitation on movie theatre occupancy till February 28 citing the threat of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The State government on Tuesday had allowed movie theatres 50 per cent occupancy while the Central government had allowed 100 per cent occupancy recently.

Sandalwood, which has been recovering after staring at an uncertain future for 11 months is mostly outraged by the government’s modified decision.

Many big-budget movies are ready for release this month. Producers are now complaining that half-theatre occupancy will not get them the desired return on their investments. Especially, after they have additionally spent lakhs on the promotions of their movies.

Responding to the government’s decision, producer KP Srikanth said the decision was reprehensible.

“The industry is on the road to recovery. What should those of us who depend on it do? We will hold a meeting soon and discuss the decision,” he said.

The Karnataka Film Producers Association’s president stated, “The producers heaved a sigh of relief when the central government allowed 100 per cent entry in theatres. However, we were shocked that the State government will be following its previous guidelines. It is like serving full meals with the rule that only half of it can be eaten. We are requesting the government that they withdraw this decision. The government must understand the hardship of the movie industry.”

Many States including West Bengal, Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat have allowed 100 per cent seats occupancy in movie theatres.

“Corona ruined the country. Government and its politics is ruining our industry. The State government did not give us a rupee in aid or relief during the difficult past few months. The least we expected was that they will let us run our businesses on our own sake, but they did not do that too. It would be better now that they shut down the entire industry completely,” said KV Chandrashekhar, president of the Karnataka Film Exhibitors Association.

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