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Haryana proposes increase in movie screens, with focus on single screen theatres

The state government approved the Haryana film policy on September 5 giving filmmaking the status of an industry in the state, making it eligible for various incentives and subsidies.

gurgaon Updated: Sep 12, 2018 12:57 IST
Rashpal Singh
Rashpal Singh
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
haryana,gurugram,haryana govt film policy
Payal Cinema in Gurugram’s Sector 14 is one of the two remaining single screen theatre in the city. (Parveen Kumar / HT Photo )

A week after the cabinet passed the Haryana film policy, the state government has proposed increasing the number of film theatres by 35% to boost the entertainment sector.

The state government approved the Haryana film policy on September 5 giving filmmaking the status of an industry in the state, making it eligible for various incentives and subsidies. Under the new policy, there is a provision for increasing the number of film theatres from the existing 171 to more than 500 across the state, with focus on reviving single screen cinemas. Of the total film theatres in the state, more than 65% are located in Gurugram and Faridabad, where the number increased after multiplexes mushroomed about eight years ago.

“We propose to increase the number of cinema screens from the present 171 to about 500 to 525, so that the ratio of screens increases from the existing one screen per 1.5 lakh people to one screen per 50,000 people. The aim is to boost the entertainment sector, for which various incentives and subsidies will be offered,” Sameer Pal Srow, the director of Directorate of Information, Public Relation and Languages, said. He is also the secretary of the committee that drafted the film policy.

Although the government is yet to decided on the number of single screen theatres to be built in different areas, officials close to the development said the proposal will first focus on all district headquarters, including Gurugram, Faridabad, Rohtak, Ambala, Kurukshetra and Panchkula.

“Entertainment and entertainment sector is weak in Haryana. Old theatres need to be revived and the film policy will work in this direction. Many incentives are being worked out for the expansion of cinema screens,” filmmaker Satish Kaushik, co-chairman of the committee, said.

Kaushik said single screen theatres are the need of the hour as multiplexes are not viable in semi-urban and rural areas.

According to the Film Federation of India, there are 106 single screen theatres in Haryana. The business of single screen theatres took a beating after the arrival of multiplexes. Gurugram had five single screens, three of which shut down around 2004.

Payal Cinema in Gurugram’s Sector 14 is one of the two remaining single screens, the other being Raj Cinema on Old Delhi Road. Rameshwar, who has been working at Payal Cinema for last five years, was skeptical of the proposal.

“We do not know whether the new proposal alone can help. We screen three shows a day and sell about 60 tickets on an average. It is tough; we only generate maintenance expenses from these screening,” he said.

First Published: Sep 12, 2018 12:57 IST