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Struggle to revive cinemas: Seats remain vacant as halls screen old movies in bid to pull crowds

Except Madam Chief Minister, Master, old movies like Uri the surgical strike, Ram Prasad ki tehrvi, Suraj pe mangal bhari are also being screened at the time.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh |
February 4, 2021 11:11:46 am
theatres, cinema halls, theatre sanitationThe government allowed cinemas to open at 100 per cent capacity from February 1 onwards. Express Photo

Despite opening at 100 per cent capacity, cinemas in the city are struggling to get back on their feet. With most cinema halls screening older films, pulling crowds is proving to be a struggle.

The government allowed cinemas to open at 100 per cent capacity from February 1 onwards. The order was a ray of hope for cinema owners who have been struggling to make ends meet since last year. “We were hopeful about the movie ‘Master’, which has attracted huge crowds in Southern regions, will show some impact here also. But it has failed to draw people in the Northern regions,” said a cinema owner said.

The movie, starring Vijay, enjoyed a roaring success at the big screen in the south—something which cinema owners were hopeful of in the north too.

In PVR cinema at Elante mall, all seats were vacant for all shows, as per bookings checked on Tuesday evening. The shows begin at 11.10 am, while the last show is screened at 6.45 pm. At the moment, a recliner seat, the most expensive of all, is available for Rs 507, while a classic category seat is available for Rs 165.

Except Madam Chief Minister, Master, old movies like Uri the surgical strike, Ram Prasad ki tehrvi, Suraj pe mangal bhari are also being screened at the time.

At PVR centra mall, ticket prices have been made nominal with Rs 109 for classic category and Rs 138 for prime category.

There are five shows for five movies in this cinema with first one beginning at 11 am and the last one ending at 6.40 pm. However, there were no takers for the same.

The scenario was same at Fun cinemas, Manimajra and DT mall too.

“We are just hoping that some new releases in summer will pave way for our revival. Else it will become difficult for all of us to survive. Salaries of staff, electricity and other committed expenses are running in lakhs,” said the cinema owner. “In fact, big Hindi movies are expected to start releasing from last week of March and first week of April; so, we are expecting that crowds will turn up. There is a marvellous movie line up throughout the year,” he further added.

“For the revival of the cinema exhibition industry, relaxation of the seating norms was a vital prerequisite and we are thankful to the I&B Ministry and absolutely excited about the revised guidelines allowing 100 per cent seating in cinemas. This will ease the apprehensions in the minds of content producers and studios, who may now announce the release dates of their movies. We now look forward to the state governments to provide us the nod to implement the revised guidelines. We will remain committed to the protocols as advised, as guest safety and hygiene has always been a priority at INOX,” said Alok Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, INOX Leisure Limited.

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