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Is It Lights Out For Cinema Theatres?

For Tamilnadu, tiffin, TASMAC happy hours, and theatre visits are an integral part of life. Two years in a row, the Tamilian has been hit by withdrawal. Covid-19 has sunk every aspect that was familiar, comforting. On par with other service businesses, theatre owners have suffered irrevocable losses. According to G Dhananjayan, Producer and Distributor, in 2020 itself the loss from cinema shutdown stood at Rs 150-200 crore per month, and over Rs 1500 crore per month across the nation. Abirami Ramanathan, President of the Multiplex Owners Association of TN, owner of the Abhirami Mega Mall with a number of screens, laments the loss of livelihood for thousands who work in cinemas, and innumerable small businesses that cater to theatre visitors. Another wave? Most certainly it will be curtains for this world renowned entertainment industry. Often one talks about escaping dire straits by a slender thread. When Chennai-based SPI Cinemas and its owners, the Reddy Brothers off loaded 71% stake of SPI Cinemas to PVR Cinemas in 2018, Sathyam Cinema regulars were shocked. An outing to Sathyam was de rigour for many families. SPI Cinemas with Reddy Brothers opting to sell out at the right time reminds us of Captain Gopinath and how he let go of Air Deccan at that point. Quit while the going is good. This ongoing and uncertain theatre shutdown has upset the entire value chain causing loss of livelihood for all –.distributors, cinemas, producers, hell even the popcorn and ice cream vendors. When will that familiar sign on a huge screen come alive…”and now for your Feature Film please switch off your mobiles”.