2 weeks after reopening, occupancy at Chandigarh cinemas remains low
PVR Cinemas launched a one-week ‘Halloween Film Festival’ on Friday, wherein movies such as ‘It Chapter 2’, ‘The Conjuring 2’ and ‘Lights Out’ will be screened.Updated: Oct 30, 2020, 23:37 IST
Pandemic paranoia, limited options and “poor selection” of films are keeping moviegoers out of Chandigarh’s cinemas, which were allowed to open from October 15.
As per online ticketing service BookMyShow, there weren’t more than five to six bookings for any show on Friday, a trend that is expected to continue over the weekend. This comes even as two new English movies – ‘The Rental’ and ‘The New Mutants’ – were released on Friday. Only older Hindi and Punjabi films are currently being screened in cinemas. A Korean movie about K-pop group BTS will also be released on November 3, bookings for which are, however, yet to pick up.
Sarabdeep Singh, a city-based PR professional, who would regularly watch movies in cinemas before the Covid-19 crisis, said, “I have been waiting to watch Christopher Nolan’s Tenet for a long time, but it still hasn’t been released. I haven’t watched a single movie since cinemas reopened and I won’t mind donning all the safety equipment required for watching a movie these days. But the movie has to be worth the effort.”
Meanwhile, PVR Cinemas launched a one-week ‘Halloween Film Festival’ on Friday, wherein movies such as ‘It Chapter 2’, ‘The Conjuring 2’ and ‘Lights Out’ will be screened. The entertaining company had also organised a special show for 35 ‘corona warriors’ at its cinemas at an IT Park mall.
Single screen cinemas to reopen next year
Single screen cinemas in the city, including Neelam Theatre in Sector 17 and Kiran in Sector 22, are yet to restart movie screenings.
Manager of Neelam Theatre, SK Sharma, said, “I have written to the Chandigarh deputy commissioner, stating that it is not feasible for us to reopen before January 1, 2021. We had opened the theatre for a couple of days, but nobody is interested in coming. The cost of running a cinema hall, including power bills and salaries of workers, will be too much. Until hit Bollywood films start releasing, it will not be suitable for us to reopen.”
Sharma said the administration should help single screen cinemas, which are already suffering big losses, during reopening. He has also asked the UT administration to offer some rebate on taxes on tickets and electricity. But I haven’t heard back from them on this, he added.