Policemen posted at Urvashi theatre near Lalbagh following protests by pro-Kannada outfits. (EPS)
BENGALURU: Despite opposition from pro-Kannada outfits, Rajinikanth’s Tamil film ‘Kaala’ will see a full-fledged release on Friday in Karnataka in about 250 theatres across the state, including multiplexes. All the theatres will be provided security by the police to prevent pro-Kannada organisations from targeting them.
Uncertainty persists over the film’s initially scheduled release on Thursday though there are plans to release the film in about 100 theatres. But providing the list of theatres to the police for security and signing agreements with theatre owners about the release will take time, which is why the film’s booking has not yet appeared on the BookMyShow app.
Producer and distributor Kanakapura Srinivas has bought the distribution rights of the film in Karnataka. Confirming the release plan, Srinivas said, “Yes, ‘Kaala’ will release in 100 theatres on Thursday and on Firday, it will see a full-fledged release in approximately 250 theatres. We are signing an agreement with owners of theatres and multiplexes who are willing to screen ‘Kaala’. The list of theatres will later be sent to the police commissioner for security at these theatres. The tedious process is happening at the last minute. I will get a clear picture on the exact number of theatres only on Thursday.”
The film’s distributors are still in talks with exhibitors since Wednesday night for confirmation. But many are still wary of screening the film, fearing violence from groups seeking ban on ‘Kaala’ in the state.
Praveen Shetty of Kannada Rakshana Vedike and members of other pro-Kannada groups have told KFCC they will protest against the film’s release, even if it led to their arrests.
Senior police officials said they received an initial list of theatres where ‘Kaala’ will be screened. “Besides civil policemen, platoons of Karnataka State Reserve Police and City Armed Reserve forces will be deployed. Malls, where multiplexes are located, will get more security as a large number of audience are expected to watch the movie. Security for single-screen theatres will be decided on their location.”