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Karnataka Moviegoers May Have to Visit Multiplexes as Theatres to Remain Shut Until January

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A photo of a cinema hall. Partial closure to Kerala Film Strike after Kochi Meeting

The Karnataka Film Exhibitors’ Federation announced their decision not to reopen theatres in the state until January, next year, during a meeting held in Mysore, on Saturday.

“Under the present circumstances, we exhibitors of Karnataka, under the banner of Karnataka Film Exhibitors’ Federation, have decided not to open cinema theatres up to January. Exhibitors of Karnataka are facing problems with the license renewal fee which has been raised from Rs 5,000 to Rs. 1.2 lakh which works out to 2,250 times the original. And the Property Tax, power tariff, service charge, and our major issue is also with the producers whom we have been approaching to change the business model from the previous existing model to a win-win situation model on a percentage basis, with no advances, on the minimum guarantee (MG). And till now, they have stated that they are not going to release films till January,” Chairman of the federation RR Odugoudar told The New Indian Express.

However, this issue has left the film fraternity divided as the Karnataka Film Chamber Of Commerce (KFCC) said that while most single-screen theatres remain shut, multiplexes will continue to function.

Speaking to Silverscreen India, president of KFCC DR Jairaj said, “Some people have complaints that due to no content in the month of October, they have decided to keep the theatres closed. Multiplexes like PVR are still functioning. It has not been decided till when theatre owners want to keep it closed. Once content comes in, they will definitely open it. Some groups of people are saying that they may not open till January. It’s not a total opinion. Film Chamber hasn’t made any official decision. For whoever it is convenient, they can do screenings.  Theatres and multiplexes that choose to stay open can make a decision to screen re-runs.”

Another member of the KFCC, Venkatesh said, “Currently in all of Karnataka, single screens are closed with the exception of Bengaluru. Because of several protocols and conditions for producers and theatre owners, no new releases have happened.”

However, according to Jairaj, the situation with the single-screen theatres are likely to get better next month. “No big star movies are opening because of protocols like 50% occupancy. Once it becomes 100% or 75% occupancy, it will be fine. By end of this month or November, things should go back to normal.” said Jairaj.

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