Theatres threaten complete shutdown, Chennai may not join

A new twist in the narrative has unfolded with theatres now threatening a complete shutdown from March 16 should the “government not keep its promises”.

Published: 09th March 2018 04:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th March 2018 05:44 AM   |  A+A-

Theatres in Chennai were closed earlier in protest of the GST hike | Romani Agarwal

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: With no new Tamil films releasing due to the ongoing dispute between the Producers and the Digital Service Providers, a new twist in the narrative has unfolded with theatres now threatening a complete shutdown from March 16 should the “government not keep its promises”.

Tirupur Subramaniam, erstwhile distributor and now a sitting member of the Joint Action Committee assembled by the Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners Association for talks with the govt, explained that the team had put forth four demands last week.

These are the stipulations
1. Theatres should only need the approval of Public Works Department for all constructions and refurbishments
2. Theatre licence renewal to be increased from its current annual cycle to a three-year renewal cycle
3. Local body tax to be abolished
4. Theatre maintenance fee to be raised from the current price of `1 to `5

“We would like the government to pass a Government Order to ensure these requests are acceded to and stop the industry from suffering further losses,” he said.With theatres already not able to run any new releases, a spokesperson from Qube feared that the new strike could cause further losses.“So far, we have been able to keep the business running because theatres were screening some films. If they get shut down, we will face huge losses,”Abirami Ramanathan, President of Theatre Owners Association, declined to comment on the issue. However, a source from the association said theatres, including multiplexes, will not be shut in Chennai if the strike was enforced.

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