Nearly two weeks after demonetisation, one would assume things are back to normal with the initial rush to exchange the scrapped Rs 500/Rs 1,000 notes coming down and people back to their spending ways - watching movies and eating out. Though there’s a sharp increase in the use of credit/debit cards, it seems there has been a sizable drop in business, both at the cineplexes and at high-end food joints, despite the fact that these places accept all kinds of plastic money. “We have seen a 40 per cent dip in ticket sales. Similarly, the SPH (spend per head) has been at Rs 45 for us. After demonetisation, it has come down to Rs 20 per head,” said an official at Cinepolis, Centre Square Mall. The situation is more or less the same at eating joints.
“There’s visible drop in sales after demonetisation. Though we accept cards, there’s still some reluctance among the customers to spend as freely as they did earlier. There is also the problem with Rs 2,000 notes since we are not able to return the balance as small denomination notes are in short supply,” said Rashid Niyaz of Cream Stone, an ice-cream joint. Anil Shenoy, the owner of Sridhar/ Padma/Shenoys movie theatres, said the reason for the dip in audience turnout was a lack of content. “Other than ‘Kattappanayile Hritik Roshan’ there are no new releases. Several new movies which were supposed to be released last week such as ‘Pathu Kalpanakal’ and ‘Orre Mukham’ have been held back. So, these are also affecting the collections.” P V Basheer Ahmed (Liberty Basheer) of Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation, said there was a sudden dip in the collection during the first few days after demonetisation. However, the situation has returned to normal.