No blockbusters for 150 days; young entrepreneur expresses concern over closed theatres
Kottayam: For every film, the 150th day of release marks a grand celebration. But amid the pandemic outbreak, the film industry has been facing crisis without any release of new movies for the last 150 days.
In Kerala, August 7, Friday marks the 150th day since the government ordered closing down of all film theatres due to COVID-19 outbreak. These days point out the miseries of many people who are forced to struggle without job and income.
Jiji Anchani, a young entrepreneur from Kottayam, constructed a shopping complex including a multiplex theatre at Pallickathode by spending Rs 13 crore. The shopping complex was officially inaugurated on December 12. But within three months, the multiplex theatre was closed down on March 12 due to COVID-19 outbreak. With this, the theatre which was always vibrant with the audience turned into an abandoned place.
“Though the theatre is not operational, we have to screen movies here for at least 2 hours every day. If each piece of equipment including the digital projector are not operated daily, it will be damaged and a huge amount will have to be spend on repair works. AC and lights of the three screens in the theatre should be operated every day. Rs 1.50 lakh is paid as electricity bill every month, said Jiji Anchani.
He added that 25 workers are employed at his multiplex theatre. In the initial months, full salary was paid to the staff. But due to financial crisis, only 80 per cent of salary is being paid now.
As the moratorium will expire soon, this young entrepreneur is worried about his business.