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Multiplexes, cinema theatres to remain shut for a few more days

LUCKNOW: Movie buffs will have to wait for a few more days to watch flicks on big screen, as multiplexes and single screen cinema theatre owners across the state have decided to not open the halls till the weekend lockdown and late evening curfew continues
PUBLISHED ON JUL 09, 2021 11:52 PM IST

LUCKNOW: Movie buffs will have to wait for a few more days to watch flicks on big screen, as multiplexes and single screen cinema theatre owners across the state have decided to not open the halls till the weekend lockdown and late evening curfew continues.

They have also cited non-availability of films and high running costs behind the indefinite closure.

“We had a meeting with the owners of multiplexes and single screen halls. It was decided that the cinema halls would remain closed for a few days more till the weekend lockdown and evening curfew continues,” said Ashish Agarwal, president of UP Cinema Exhibitors’ Federation.

Agarwal explained that Saturday and Sundays were business days for multiplexes and single screen theatres. “However, following the weekend lockdown, there won’t be any business,”” he said.

He also said that owing to late evening curfew, which starts from 9pm onwards, the cinema halls could run only three shows a day. “Screening of the fourth show that starts during late evening hours, would not be possible, hence this is another reason why we are not willing to open,” he said.

He also said that the government had imposed Section 144 in some cities, including Lucknow, restricting the strength of the audience at cinema halls to 50 per cent.

“Amid such restrictions, the multiplex and single screen theatre owners will not be able to meet the high running cost. Hence they have decided to shut the halls,” he said.

He also cited non-availability of movies as another major reason but said that the cinema halls may open by July 15.

Lucknow has around 9 multiplexes and 10 single screen halls.

The closure of cinema halls and multiplexes started on May 1 in wake of the second Covid- 19 wave.

The UP government gave orders for opening of single screen theatres and multiplexes on July 5, after the Covid situation eased. However, despite the government’s order, they remained closed.

The members of UP cinema exhibitors’ federation had also met chief minister Yogi Adityanath, demanding waiver of house tax, water tax and fixed electricity charges during lockdown. “We have also approached the CM, who has assured us complete support and promised a waiver in the fixed electricity charges, house tax and water tax,” said Agarwal.

However, this is not for the first time when multiplexes saw such a long closure. In 2020, such a closure was initiated on March 15, in wake of the first Covid-19 wave and was lifted on October 15, allowing them to open, but with 50 per cent gathering. The government eventually allowed the multiplexes and single screens to operate with full capacity on December 16, 2020.

Lucknow has around 9 multiplexes and 10 single screen halls.

The closure of cinema halls and multiplexes started on May 1 in wake of the second Covid- 19 wave.

The UP government gave orders for opening of single screen theatres and multiplexes on July 5, after the Covid situation eased. However, despite the government’s order, they remained closed.

The members of UP cinema exhibitors’ federation had also met chief minister Yogi Adityanath, demanding waiver of house tax, water tax and fixed electricity charges during lockdown. “We have also approached the CM, who has assured us complete support and promised a waiver in the fixed electricity charges, house tax and water tax,” said Agarwal.

However, this is not for the first time when multiplexes saw such a long closure. In 2020, such a closure was initiated on March 15, in wake of the first Covid-19 wave and was lifted on October 15, allowing them to open, but with 50 per cent gathering. The government eventually allowed the multiplexes and single screens to operate with full capacity on December 16, 2020.

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