Can’t reopen theatres till COVID is controlled: Minister Saji Cherian

Thiruvananthapuram: Cinema theatres will be reopened in the state only after recording a decrease in COIVD cases, informed Saji Cherian, minister for culture. At the same time, the minister revealed that there are some practical issues to waive the entertainment tax on films.

Actions are being taken to screen the movies through government-controlled OTT platforms, added the minister.

Permission to reopen theatres was delayed last year even after lifting the nationwide lockdown imposed during the first wave of the COVID outbreak.

This time, the film fraternity has been expecting to reopen theatres with the release of ‘Marakkar-Arabikadalinte Simham’. Hence, producer Antony Perumbavoor and actor Mohanlal announced that the movie will hit theatres on August 12 as Onam release.

But minister Saji Cherian asserted that the COVID situation is not under control in the state.

“COVID situation is not under control in the state yet. A decision on reopening of theatres will be taken after examining fall in the TPR rate. The government is considering the request of the film associations to cut entertainment tax on films considering the COVID crisis. But there are some practical issues to execute it. Financial aid will be given to the artistes by releasing the movies through OTT platforms controlled by the government,” said the minister.

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