The Capital is under the bone-rattling spell of fear and cold, and so are film fans. The result: otherwise housefull night shows in multiplexes are seeing almost no footfall. While cinema owners blame it on the harshest winter in 40 years and lack of big ticket movies after Dabangg 2, audiences club it with the scare that has engulfed them after the barbaric December 16 gangrape in Delhi.
“The footfall has fallen due to the cold. Occupancy is left to 2 to 5%. Then, there has been no big release after Dabangg 2,” says Yogesh Raizada of Wave cinemas.
Anant Varma of DT Cinemas explains, “After Christmas, the occupancy fell by 10-12% in the last shows as the falling mercury caused so much discomfort.”
A PVR spokesperson too, confirms the trend. “There has been a definite drop in audiences, but presumably more because of the cold than the horrific incident — because in that case the footfall for Dabangg 2 should have also suffered, but didn’t. We are following a no-public, no-show concept. We had to cancel a few night shows in the last three days.”
RK Mehtrotra of two-screen theatre, Delite Cinemas, says that even though they try to wind up the last show by 12.30am, the occupancy is dismal. “We just have a 30-35% last show occupancy, despite ending it before most other cinemas.”
While multiplexes keep away from acknowledging fear as a deterrent, city girls say it straight. “To some extent it’s the weather alright, but to be frank, I don’t have the courage to go out for a night show with pals now; that horrific thing happened after a movie. There are rowdy men who come to watch films in groups, stare and pass lewd comments,” says Shruti Gupta, 21.