Tuesday, August 31, 2004

47 theatres down shutters

47 more Bangalore theatres to stop screening from today
Deccan Herald

The controversy surrounding the State Government’s decision to defer the release of non-Kannada films for seven weeks witnessed another negative spin - 47 more theatres in Bangalore have resolved to stop screening movies from Tuesday.

The decision was announced on Monday by the Karnataka Cinema Theatre Owners’ Association, which is protesting against the government’s decision.
The theatres which have decided to close are: Plaza, Majestic, Ajanta, Apsara, Mahadeshwaraa, Maheshwari, Eswari, Kamakya, Laxmi, Sreenivasa, Thirumala, Sandeep, Ganesh, Abhiman, Anand, Anjan, Aruna, Elgin, Everest, Gopal, Keshava, Krishna, Mukunda, Narasimha, Pallavi, Poornima, Rajeshwari, Ranganatha, Renuka, Savitha, Sharada, Shoba, Tulsi, Vijayalakshmi, Vinayaka, Prithvi, Vijay, Balaji (Chikkasandra), Rajashekar, Shiva, Pushpanjali (Shivanahalli), Pushpanjali (Sultanpalya), Amruth, Meenaxi (KGF) and Rajeshwari (HAL).

With this, the total number of theatres that have stopped screening films are 68.
Theatres in Bellary district, which generate more revenue from Telugu movies, have threatened to close if the government fails to revoke its decision by Friday.

Drop in collections
In a press release, the Karnataka Cinema Theatre Owners’ Association stated, “Several theatres screening Kannada films have expressed interest in closing soon - more than 20 such theatres in Bangalore alone have indicated that they will incur losses next week onwards due to the drop in current collections and also because there are no Kannada movies scheduled for release on September 3 and 10.”

A member of the Association questioned, “When the audience for Kannada films is not growing, what is the point in screening only Kannada films? It is commercially not viable to run a theatre when the collections are abysmally low. Compounding our problems is the decision to defer the release of non-Kannada films for seven weeks. We can think of opening the theatres only if the State Government revokes its decision.”

No change
However, the Kannada Film Producers’ Association, which apparently pressurised the Government to defer the release of non-Kannada movies, said it would not budge over its stand.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Kannada Film Producers’ Association, President Basanth Kumar Patil said he finds no reason as to why the exhibitors should object to defer the release of non-Kannada films.

“Those affected by the decision, would be the distributors themselves who would have bought the film. But when they have agreed for the deferred release, why should the exhibitors make a hue and cry over the issue?” Mr Patil asked.
The theatres which are complaining are those which have not patronised Kannada, these just want to draw the attention of the government, he said.

“Why don’t these theatres patronise Kannada movies, instead?,” he asked.
Meanwhile, the president of the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce S Ramesh, said that they are holding meetings with the Kannada film producers and the exhibitors.

He said a final decision would be taken on Tuesday.


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