Lukewarm response as movie halls, multiplexes reopen in Puducherry after nearly three months

By Express News Service

PUDUCHERRY: Cinema theatres in Puducherry reopened after nearly three months of lockdown on Friday, but in a different format with safety measures as stipulated by the Centre, with 50 percent capacity, alternate seating, masks and packaged snacks.

Only four cinema theatres — Shanmugha, Jeeva, Raja and Providence Mall — opened, out of eight, with 13 screens in the town areas. Theatres and multiplexes had been permitted to open from August 1, but they chose to open today.

All the four cinema halls screened old Tamil film ‘Khaki’ starring Kamal Haasan and popular dubbed English movie ‘Mortal Kombat’ in the morning, matinee and evening shows to attract viewers who were predominantly young men. As the night curfew is still on, there is no night show.

Being the first day after the last show on April 23, the response was lukewarm. On an average, around 15 to 20 persons sat for each show, sources in the cinema theatres said. In fact, the price of tickets has been lowered too.

The rates have been lowed to Rs 100 from Rs 120 and Rs 75 from Rs 100 in view of the Covid-19 pandemic scenario, said the manager of one theatre. Since the films being screened are old ones, there is not much attraction for viewers, he added.

Besides a good number of new films getting released on OTT platforms, the interest among viewers to go to cinema halls has also declined, said a staffer at one of the theatres.

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