Hindi movies are back in cinema theatres in Nepal from Thursday----10 days after hall owners decided to stop screening them following a ban imposed by a breakaway faction of ruling Maoists.
A statement issued by the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist on Thursday stated that the party decided to lift the ban across the country in view of the coming festive season.
The party headed by hardliner Mohan Baidya, which split from the ruling Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) in June, had called for a ban on Hindi movies from September 10.
It is not yet clear whether the ban will again come into force once the Dashain and Tihar festivals end in mid November.
The party had imposed a ban on ‘vulgar’ Hindi movies in a bid to ‘safeguard national sovereignty’ and ‘promote a self-reliant economy’.
Multiplexes and single screen theatres in Kathmandu began screening ‘Barfi’, ‘Heroine’, ‘Oh My God’ and ‘Kamal Dhamal Malamaal’---Hindi movies which were released before screening was stopped.
New releases like ‘Makhhi’ and comeback films of Sridevi (‘English Vinglish’) and Nepal’s Manisha Koirala (‘Bhoot Returns’) are likely to hit the screens from Friday or next week.
Due to the ban hall owners were either forced to down shutters or screen Nepali movies in few screens on discounted rates. But the response from movie goers was not enthusiastic.
“Movie halls incurred losses valued at nearly NRs 2.5 crore (Rs. 1.5 crore approx) during the 10 days from October 1 to October 10,” said Ashok Sarma, managing director of Digital Cinema.