Following their meeting with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the Film Chamber of Commerce has decided to open theatres after the CM had agreed to most of their demands. The association had placed three demands in front of the CM, and the latter reportedly agreed to two of the three demands.
The association had asked the government to provide concessions in regards to entertainment tax, reductions in the fixed electricity bill while they were closed, and to decide on the second show and other timings. The government has decided to avoid the collection of the entertainment tax, and reduce the fixed electricity charge by 50%. The authorities have also clarified that the producers can pay the property tax from March 2020 as monthly instalments. Moreover, the government has extended the duration of the various licenses until March 31 of this year. However, Pinarayi Vijayan denied permission for second shows.
While the state government had announced that theatres would open on January 5 with the release of Tamil film Master, the theatre association had dismissed It. They had made certain demands, which the government had denied on the first round. The association had also pointed out that there weren’t many big-budget releases until the end of March and opening now would be foolish. However, with the latest relaxations and concessions, it would be a welcome move. On the other hand, they are yet to announce an exact date of the opening but reports indicate that Vijay-starrer Master would be the first release.
Earlier, the Tamil Nadu government had to bow down to fans and associations to open theatres with 100 per cent capacity. The move had invited the wrath of Union Ministry of Home Affairs, and the TN government had to roll back on the decision. The Central guidelines indicate that the theatres can open with 50% capacity, but many doctors and experts are advising against it especially on the backdrop of the latest Covid mutant strain spreading fast.