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Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav said that theatres will stay open, as many people dependent on the film industry have already suffered due to the pandemic.

A cinema hall with plush red seating and people sitting at a distance from each otherImage for representation/PTI
Flix Coronavirus Wednesday, March 24, 2021 - 15:10

Telangana Cinematography Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav on Wednesday denied rumours that the government is planning to close theatres in the state. The declaration came a day after the Telangana government announced temporary closure of schools and colleges to contain COVID-19 cases. Noting that the film industry has already suffered huge losses due to the coronavirus pandemic, Talasani said that theatres will continue to function as per the Union government’s COVID-19 guidelines. 

“Many people (dependent on the film industry) have lost their livelihoods. There are lakhs of people depending on this industry,” Minister Talasani said. Keeping in mind the difficulties of everyone related to the film industry, it has been decided that theatres will remain open, he said, asking people not to heed rumours around closing of theatres. 

Earlier in November, following a meeting between Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and prominent persons from the industry, the state government had announced several exemptions and concessions to relieve the adverse impact that the pandemic had on the film industry. These included allowing the reopening of theatres, waiving electricity charges for the months theatres were shut, flexible ticket rates and reimbursement of 9% GST for small budget films. 

Read: Telangana film exhibitors urge state govt to fulfil promises to help industry

Telangana has been witnessing a rising trend in COVID-19 cases, with a few clusters being detected in educational institutions. On Tuesday, 431 new cases were recorded in the state, bringing the total recorded number of active patients to 3,352. 

Speaking in the Assembly during the ongoing Budget Session, Education Minister Sabitha Indra Reddy said that the government had decided to temporarily close schools and colleges (excluding medical colleges) from Thursday, switching back to online classes, as parents were worried about rising infections. 

Starting from February, theatres in Telangana were allowed to run with 100% occupancy, which was earlier capped at 50%. Multiple Telugu films released this year, like Krack, Uppena, and more recently Jathi Ratnalu, have had a successful run in theatres. A few highly anticipated films are set to release in the coming weeks, including Pawan Kalyan’s Vakeel Saab (April 9), Sai Pallavi and Naga Chaitanya’s Love Story (April 16), Nani starrer Tuck Jagadish (April 23), and Virata Parvam (April 30), starring Sai Pallavi and Rana Daggubati. 

Read: 

100% occupancy in theatres: How the first weekend fared

5 single screen theatres shut in Hyderabad, others stare at bleak future

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