Coimbatore: In the last five years, the number of screens operating in Tamil Nadu and in the state has come down. About five years ago this was not the case and decades back cinema theatres would celebrate silver and golden jubilee of screening movies.
“About five years ago, Tamil Nadu boasted of at least 1,000 movie screens while in Coimbatore anywhere between 200 and 300 screens were functional. However, currently in the textile city only 178 movie screens are operational. Revenue generated has also dropped.” Mr. M. Subramaniam, president, West Zone Theatre Owners’ Association said.
While cinema theatres in the textile city record a monthly income of approximately Rs 80 crore, the overall income that cinema theatres generate in Tamil Nadu is Rs. 400 crores on an average. Dwindling number of cinema goers has forced theatre owners across the state to permanently down the curtains.
Reasons, experts point out, are cinema audience “are spoilt” with choice of watching a movie in different formats today. “Thanks to the advancement in science and technology, an individual can now watch a movie at his convenient time and on a medium that works best for him or her. It must also be noted that today’s cinema audience is a mature lot who know what exactly they want. The same has created a paradigm shift in the way movies are made, keeping the audience in mind.” K Karnamaharajan professor and head of department of Film and Media Studies, Madurai Kamaraj University, said.
Agreeing with him is Mr. Subramaniam who said, “initially Indian movies would run beyond three hours and would have many songs. However, in the era of fast food, our movies have become short and so have the number of songs. The quality of cinema that is produced must improve in terms of storytelling as today’s audience cannot be taken for a ride.” he said.
Despite all this, star power has not lost its charm even in the contemporary era. “About five years ago a Vijay-starrer film would fetch about Rs 5 crore, today a movie in which Vijay plays a lead role does Rs. 10 crore business,” Mr. Subramaniam said. About a couple of years ago, new talent was appreciated by the audience; however even the more contemporary audience is hesitant to accept fresh faces in the tinsel world, he adds....