Movie theatre owners in the Telugu states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are mulling over running free shows initially when they reopen, in order to attract the crowd back to theatres. Theatre owners are also expecting support from the distributors to supply old content or movie for screening, either for free or at least for a minimal cost.
According to the sources, the concept of free screening in the theatres in the initial days of reopening is on the cards and is being discussed by the theatre owners. However, no concrete decision has been taken in this regard yet.
Speaking to The News Minute, Telugu distributor and producer Sunil Narang from Asian Cinemas said that they are thinking about it, however, a decision has not been taken yet. He also said that they issue an update soon.
Meanwhile, single-screen theatre owners said that though it is a good idea to air shows for free initially, it will only add to the existing losses due to the lockdown. "We have no clarity on this issue yet, but it is a good way to test the audience strength to woo them to theatres, though it's a loss to us,â€ť said Balgovindraju, the owner of the single-screen theatre, Sudharshan Theatre, in Hyderabad.
He further added that distributors should also come forward and give their old content for low cost or for free so the industry can survive. "Some of the old Hollywood movies are already available for very low cost from production houses such as Gangster Land, Viking Destiny and others. If we get more content in a similar way, the whole movie industry can go forward with each otherâ€™s support," said Balgovindraju.
As a part of Unlock 5.0 guidelines, the Union government has given the green light to reopen theatres. However, several states are yet to come up with their orders or standard operating procedures (SOP) on specific dates of reopening theatres.
In an official statement, Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar announced that separate orders would be issued for Telangana regarding theatres reopening and the Union government orders would not be implemented in the state as of now.
Andhra Pradesh government, too, is yet to issue the protocols or SOPs for reopening multiplexes and cinema halls.