Dancing to the beat of drums and loud music and bursting crackers outside a city theatre while fans pour milk down an actor’s cutout is a traditional sight for people in Tamil Nadu. But more so for patrons of Kasi theatre at Jafferkhanpet and S2 Theyagaraya at Thiruvanmiyur in Chennai.
For years, the release of Kollywood superstars has always been celebrated with much fanfare, with fans placing orders for cardboard cutouts of the stars well in advance. Celebrations start as early as 4 am, with fans queuing up to catch a glimpse of the first show on Fridays.
However, celebrations at Kasi and Theyagaraya theatres for the release of Kaappaan on September 20 were subdued, given that city theatres had decided to forego banners and cutouts following the death of a techie who was killed by an illegal hoarding on September 12.
Subhasri Ravi, a 23-year-old techie, had been run over by a water tanker on September 12 after an illegal hoarding on a divider near Kamakshi Hospital along the Pallavaram-Thoraipakkam 200 Feet Radial Road fell on her and she was crushed by a water tanker behind.
With the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) clamping down on illegal hoardings across Chennai, theatres in the city decided to give the banners a miss and opted for a quite release.
A few days ahead of the release of Kaappaan, actor Suriya had urged his fans to not put up banners and cardboard cutouts to celebrate the release of his film, the release of which was scheduled a week after Subhasri’s death.
Despite not opting for banners and cutouts, both the theatres had failed to remove the metal frames which are used to hold the banners. With or without the banners, the frames pose a grave dangers to pedestrians and motorists at the theatres. While the frames at S2 Theyagaraya were void of decorations, the frames at Kasi theatre were decorated with flags of actor Suriya’s portrait on them tied from end to end.
The managers of the theatres could not be reached for comment.