HYDERABAD: The night curfew imposed on Telangana will not impact the screening of movies in cinema theatres but what will change are the show timings. The changes are done in a way as to enable viewers reach their homes before 9 pm.
Movie exhibitors said that, for instance, the shows scheduled at 11 am would begin at 10 am while the 6pm shows will now start at 5 pm.
Balgovind Raju, representing the single-screen theatre owners of Telangana, said, “There were rumours in the social media that theaters will be closed. We will keep them open and follow safety protocols.”
He said the real challenge for the exhibitors are the postponement of release of big-ticket films such as the Naga Chaitanya and Sai Pallavi-starrer Love Story, which was to be released on April 16 but put off.
Similarly, the release of Chiranjeevi’s ‘Acharya’ too has been postponed. “Content is more important for the theatres to run and if big movies are not released, then people will not opt to come and watch movies,” he said.
However, the surge in Covid-19 cases did have its impact on the turnout at theatres. The latest Pavan Kalyan starrer Vakeel Saab that opened to full houses for three consecutive days saw attendance dip since April 12.
Theatre owners say any decision on closing of cinemas will be a collective one. Sunil Narang, of Asian Cinemas said, “There are very few audiences now and the only movie generating some revenue is Vakeel Saab. So we will continue with that.” While it is expected that some screens may be shut because of lack of patronage, cinemas showing this movie are expected to stay open, at least for now.