Other cinemas will reopen this week
About 30% of Tamil Nadu cinemas, including multiplexes, will open their screens to customers on Thursday and Friday. Only 20% of cinemas opened on August 23, when the government allowed cinemas to reopen. Industry sources say the remaining 50% of cinemas, especially in rural areas, will only reopen after new Tamil films are released or during Vinayaka Chaturti.
A source at a Madurai cinema, who decided to wait until September, said, “The market here is different. People prefer more Tamil movies. So I decided to wait until the first week of September. News about the third wave is all over social media, so we’re being very careful. But Abishek Eashwaran, partner, Priya Complex, Madurai, said he would open one of the screens on Friday with The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It.
In Coimbatore, exhibitors would start with The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It and The lower end of the bell (Hindi). Even in this area, a few are in standby mode.
The biggest fear is whether the public will return and whether they will have to deal with the third wave of COVID-19, resulting in more casualties. Even when they were closed, theaters had to spend huge sums of money on maintenance. Some of them had to spend ₹ 5 lakh- ₹ 10 lakh per month to protect projectors, seats and other electronic devices.
Archana Kalpathi, CEO of AGS Cinemas, which started the shows on August 23, said business was going well, especially at GN Chetty Road’s owner T. Nagar. “We only opened one screen here, and looking at the response, we opened another,” she said. On the first day, the morning shows recorded 15% occupancy and the evening shows 20%. The rate was gradually increasing each day, she noted.
Udeep B, Managing Director of Mayajaal, said: “We are opening this weekend with seven films in English, Hindi and Telugu. “Like the rest of the world, cinemas see 50% to 60% of the number before the pandemic. We are also confident. “
PVR Cinemas, which has a portfolio of 83 screens at 13 properties in Chennai, Vellore and Coimbatore, reopens Thursday. The group will post Hollywood content such as The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, Hitman’s wife bodyguard, Anybody and Promising young woman, and The lower end of the bell which was released on August 19 in states where theaters have reopened.
Gautam Dutta, CEO of PVR Limited, said: “We welcome our customers to a true cinematic experience as we reopen in Tamil Nadu State after this long wait. The openness of Tamil Nadu is particularly important as part of our South India tour. ”
“We are not opening our theaters now,” said ‘Rohini’ Panneerselvam, general secretary of the Tamil Nadu Theater and Multiplex Owners Association. When asked for a market overview, he said: “20% of cinemas have opened, 40% will open this weekend and the rest in the next few days.” He said customers would take a while but they would surely come back to the big screen.
Tamil Nadu has 1,213 screens, with over 6.36 lakh seats. A one day closure of all cinemas will result in an average loss of ₹ 8 crore.