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Tirupati: Theatres may not open for now
- Unless new movies get ready for release there is no point in opening theatres now, feel theatre owners
- Power consumption would be same even at the 50% occupancy as SOP
- Hence, they are seeking relaxations in power tariff
Tirupati: Even though the government has allowed the cinema theatres to open during Unlock 5.0 from October 15, the managements of theatres here are unlikely to re-open.
One of the main reasons is that there are no new movies to be released as the industry was under lockdown till now and shootings are slowly resuming only now. There is no possibility of new movies being released before January.
Secondly, the theatre owners feel that it would be difficult to enforce the Covid protocols.
They also feel that even if they open the theatres, the number of movie-goers would be much below the 50 per cent which the Centre had directed and this would result in loss to the theatres. Still in order to keep themselves in state of preparedness in case the theatres' association decides to open the theatres, the process of cleaning and sanitising the theatres and marking seats which should not be occupied was being taken up.
The theatre owners want that the government to consider their demand for relaxation in power tariff. They say whether the seats are full or not even at the level of 50 per cent as prescribed by the Centre, they would be consuming the same power. With less occupancy and fall in revenue, it would be a huge burden on them. Sidda Reddy, the manager of Krishna Teja group theatres in Tirupati, said that the chamber was in consultation with the government on various issues. As of now the situation is not conducive to operate under the given SOPs. No theatre may open on October 15, he said.
Another theatre manager, who preferred to be anonymous, said that the government should think of giving various reliefs in power tariff and tax exemptions. Though theatres have spruced up, first of all their power connections are to be restored. If these issues are sorted out, they can operate once the new movies are ready.