Striking theatre owners in the state decided to call off their indefinite strike on Thursday over local body taxes. The strike by theatres excluding those in Chennai, began on March 16.
Theatre owners met Tamil Nadu Minister for Information and Publicity Kadambur Raju and Minister for Commercial Taxes KC Veeramani on Thursday for talks regarding their predicament. The government reportedly assured them help, following which the theatre owners decided to call off their strike.
Speaking to media persons outside Fort St George, Abirami Ramanathan, who represented the theatre owners said, "CM already called all theatre owners and spoke to us. Based on that petition, today, Ministers and authorities conducted a joint discussion with us. They have given many assurances. Based on those assurances, we are informing that all theatres in Tamil Nadu will operate from tomorrow.
While multiplexes in Chennai did not participate in the strike, several B and C centres, especially outside Chennai took part in the strike.
With the ongoing standoff between Tamil film producers and Digital Service Providers (DSPs) in the state, these theatre owners were hit badly as no new Tamil films released from March 1.
TNFEA had earlier put forth a 4-point resolution to the Tamil Nadu government. This includes completely removing the 8% local body tax, allowing flexibility in reducing the number of seats in the auditorium, making the license renewal period from 3 years to 1 year, and revising theatre maintenance charges from Re 1 per ticket to Rs 5.
In October last year, the film industry had strongly objected to the Tamil Nadu government's order levying entertainment tax on the exhibition of movies in theatres. Under the order, 10% tax was levied on Tamil language movies and 20% tax on movies in other languages, over and above the GST. In July, following protests and a refusal from the Tamil Film Producers' Council to screen any films over the 'exorbitant tax', ticket prices had been revised across Tamil Nadu.