This has come about as the reopening of theatres did not attract huge crowds this Deepavali, which has seen only 35% occupancy.

With less occupancy, theatres and multiplexes in Tamil Nadu slash ticket prices
Flix Kollywood Friday, November 27, 2020 - 19:31

The reopening of theatres in Tamil Nadu has not attracted huge crowds as moviegoers did not turn up, with this Deepavali witnessing only 35% occupancy. Now theatres in the state, as a revenue-generating model, have come up with discounts on film tickets. GK Cinemas in Porur, Chennai had announced ‘buy 1 get 1’ offer on tickets for the last weekend. Kasi Talkies Chennai has introduced a special discount on Wednesdays and also ‘buy 1 get 1’ offer. AGS Cinemas has announced reduced ticket prices for films in all languages. The multiplex is offering flat 50% off on food and beverage on all days and reduced ticket pricing where Tamil film tickets are priced at Rs 125 and regional films are priced at Rs 135. Famous multiplex Rohini Silver Screens is offering audiences a private screening where you can book an entire show starting at Rs 5000.

Theatres across the state were shut down in March this year following the lockdown announcement from the government due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Tamil Nadu reportedly has an estimated 1000 screens. Over 40 Tamil films including biggies like the Vijay starrer Master, Dhanush’s Jagame Thandhiram, Vikram’s Cobra got pushed due to the pandemic.  

After a gap of seven months, theatres and multiplexes in Tamil Nadu resumed operations from November 10 following the standard operating procedure (SOP) laid down by the state and Central governments. Subsequently, theatre owners had carried out anti-COVID activities including fogging operations to welcome moviegoers after a break of nearly eight months. 

But due to the tiff between the theatre owners and Tamil film producers over VPF (virtual print fee) which had hampered release of new films, only two new films Biskoth and Irandaam Kuththu released for Deepavali this year at the theatres. Later, the stalemate over the release of new films at the theatres came to an end with the Tamil Films Active Producers Council, a producers’ association headed by Bharathiraja, and the digital cinema providers Qube and UFO, finally coming to an agreement.

However, both the Deepavali releases were not a commercial success and other producers are in a situation of wait and watch for their film's release and to see if the footfalls are improving in the coming days. Christopher Nolan's Tenet is releasing across Indian theatres including IMAX screens in English, Hindi, Tamil & Telugu languages on December 4, and this would be the first Hollywood film to hit the screens in India post-COVID.

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