Has Re-opening of Cinema Halls Helped Get the Audience Back?

Even after theatres have reopened is the audience willing to go and watch movies on the big screen?

Published
Bollywood
2 min read

Cinema halls have re-opened almost everywhere across the country after being shut for months owing to the coronavirus lockdown. We also saw a new release this week, Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari. However, does that mean things are back to normal? Are people returning to the theatres to watch movies? Is this a green signal for other producers? Not really.

As per reports, multiplexes saw 20-25% occupancy for Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari, which is low keeping in mind that theatres are any way allowed only 50% occupancy. And single screens hardly had any viewers.

While it's true that a theatrical release was definitely needed to get the audience back to cinema halls, the ground reality isn't too encouraging. Manoj Desai, owner of Mumbai's popular Gaiety Galaxy and Maratha Mandir, told The Quint that Monday (16 November) night's shows and Tuesday's matinee show of Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari had to be cancelled because there was no audience.

"We are facing losses of crores. We have to keep the AC on and call the staff. Despite this, if 20 to 40 people turn up then it doesn't make sense. The distributor has kept 50% revenue forcibly. If the money that is coming in is Rs 10 they take Rs 5. How will we survive with five rupees ? We are in a miserable condition".
Manoj Desai, Gaiety Galaxy and Maratha Mandir owner

So what exactly are some small single screen theatres doing to keep themselves afloat in these trying times? According to trade analyst Komal Nahta, Akshay Kumar's Diwali release Laxmii (which premiered on Disney+ Hotstar) is being unofficially screened at several single screen theatres. Many cinemas are screening pirated versions of the film to bring in an audience and keep themselves in business.

At a time when multiplexes have refused to screen films that have released on OTTs but single screens are suffering due to lack of an audience, shouldn't producers, distributors and exhibitors get past their differences in the interest of the film industry and the audience at large? Watch the video and let us know what you think.

(With inputs from FilmInformation.com)

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