VIJAYAWADA: Even as the State government has permitted cinema theatres to resume operations with 50 per cent occupancy from Thursday, film distributors and managements in Vijayawada are reluctant to reopen cinema theatres till August. The two major demands from the film distributors and theatre managements are enhancing ticket prices and waiving off taxes and electricity bills generated during the lockdown.
Vijayawada has 54 cinema halls, of which 15 are single-screen theatres. All remained shut since the beginning of Covid-19 second wave from April third week. Film distributor KVV Prasad told TNIE the association has submitted representations to the government many times to allow us to enhance the ticket price, but to no avail.
Besides shootings of several big and small budget films have been stalled. Small budget films, which have received good prices from OTTs are selling, while the big-budget films are still at the shooting stage, he said. “Only after the government allows us to enhance the ticket prices can we hope to reopen cinema theatres,” Prasad said.
He recalled that the government announced a relief package in April, including waiver of fixed power charges for three months and providing an interest subvention scheme. As per orders, the government has waived off fixed power charges for April, May and June 2020 and deferred payment of fixed power charges for a period of six months—from July to December 2020—for all theatres, including multiplexes.
Meanwhile, the restaurant owners are preparing to reopen their business with 50 per cent occupancy from Thursday. Vijayawada Hotels’ Association president P Ravi Kumar said the public is still under a kind of fear psychosis about going to restaurants.
“However, we have decided to reopen them with 50 per cent occupancy amid strict Covid-19 protocols.” The takeaway business has improved in a few restaurants across the city, while some of them are still lagging behind.
The city has around 800 restaurants and hotels and all of them are reeling under a crisis following Covid-19. For their survival, many restaurants will reopen their businesses from Thursday with 50 per cent occupancy, he informed.
Similar is the case with gymnasiums, several trainers and fitness experts have been rendered jobless during Covid-19. The gyms will reopen to help them survive. Vijayawada has around 150 gyms, including the elite ones run by the leading fitness clubs.
“For the last two months, we have been offering online sessions for a few of our customers. But with the government giving relaxation, we are gearing up to offer our services, but with 50 per cent occupancy,” G Durga Rao, owner of Solid Power Gym, said.
WAIVE OFF TAXES, POWER BILL: INDUSTRY
The two major demands from the film distributors and theatre managements are enhancing ticket price and waiving off taxes and electricity bills generated during the lockdown. Vijayawada has 54