Malayalam movie producer and former Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation president Liberty Basheer said only special shows for fans were running smoothly.

Kerala hartal Daytime shows of Mohanlals Odiyan cancelled in several theatres
news Hartal Friday, December 14, 2018 - 12:53

The BJP in Kerala called for a dawn-to-dusk hartal in the state on Friday after a 49-year-old man, Venugopalan Nair, set himself alight outside the Secretariat building in Thiruvananthapuram early on Thursday morning, and succumbed to his injuries on Thursday evening. Preliminary reports indicate that Venugopalan was a staunch Ayyappa devotee and that his suicide attempt was related to the ongoing Sabarimala temple women’s entry issue.

The hartal proved consequential for the release of Mohanlal and Manju Warrier’s highly anticipated film, Odiyan. Malayalam movie producer and former Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation president Liberty Basheer told TNM that the hartal had affected the movie on its opening day, and that only special shows for fans were running smoothly in the state.

While the release saw disruptions in normal show times in some theatres, others reported screening the film without any problems.

The Kattappana Theatre at Kattapanna in Idukki cancelled the daytime shows of Odiyan and will only be screening two night shows after the end of the hartal, that is, at 6.30 pm and 9.30 pm. They put up a notice outside the theatre stating that those who had booked their tickets online would receive refunds.

In Kochi, the Saritha-Savitha-Sangeeta Theatre in Kacheripady and Kavitha Theatre on MG Road reported that they have been running shows normally. They had a show at 4.30 am and 8 am, and reported that both of these shows ran with no issues, that people who booked tickets came as usual, and both shows saw full houses. The next shows at these theatres are at 12 pm, 3 pm, 6 pm and 9 pm. 

In Thiruvananthapuram, at the Aries Plus Theatre on Kunnumpuram Road, all shows for the day were cancelled, including the special early morning show for fans. Ajantha Theatre in East Fort reported screening the movie as planned with no issues. The theatre ran shows at 5 am and 11 am, and plans to screen it again at 2 pm, 6 pm and 9 pm. They, too, reported facing no issues and saw full houses. 

At the Apsara Theatre in Kallai, Kozhikode, all morning and noon shows were cancelled, although they screened a special 3 am show for fans. The next shows will be screened after the end of the hartal, at 7.20 pm and 10 pm. They said that ticket money will be refunded, and that they kept a board outside announcing that shows have been cancelled due to the hartal, which movie-goers saw and left without causing any issues. On the other hand, the PeeCee Theatre on Pee Cee Road in Kozhikode reported screening the movie as usual with no disruptions, at 11 am, 2 pm, 5 pm, 8 pm and 11 pm.

In Eerayil Kadavu, Kottayam, Abhilash Theatre reported screening the movie as usual. Fans also performed an energetic welcome dance outside the theatre for the movie.

Meanwhile, Mohanlal fans rained abuse on the BJP’s Facebook page, expressing their anger and irritation with the BJP’s hartal being called on the same day as Odiyan’s release. While some said that coconuts would fall upon the party’s head for calling the hartal on this day, others alleged that it was a deliberate conspiracy to sabotage the release of Mohanlal’s movie. 

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