Gujarat government has come to the rescue of cinema owners. On Tuesday evening, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, after a meeting with cinema owners decided to waive off property tax and fixed charges on electricity levied on single-screen cinemas and multiplexes from April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022.
Reacting to the state government’s decision, Vandan Shah of Rupam Entertainment said, “We are thankful to the Vijaybhai Rupani for this decision. It is a big relief to us and we are now hopeful that the cinemas will reopen by mid-June.”
When asked about the films that are likely to get screened once cinemas reopen, Shah said, “Once theatres in all the states open up only then will we will know the film slate for this year.”
Producer and Exhibitor Subhash Ghai said, “I am sure our chief minister Uddhav Thackrey ji understands that Maharashtra is the father of Indian cinema n would definitively look after the crises of our cinema industry. Let’s wait for the right time when our state govt to plan and offer us better packages as a relief. I am and very optimistic.”
The cinema owners in Maharashtra too are looking forward to a similar announcement by the Maharashtra government. Executive Director of G-7 cinemas Manoj Desai said, “I am happy that Gujarat government has given the cinemas such a big relief and here in Maharashtra we are still paying for electricity and water when our theatres are shut for more than a year.”
Desai is hoping that Mumbai gets clearance to open cinemas soon and adds that if theatres are allowed to reopen he intends to reopen with smaller cinemas like Gossip, Gem and wait for some time before reopening Gaiety and Galaxy cinemas.
But said, “I really don’t know the movies that will be given to us for screening but Maratha Mandir will continue to screen ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’.”
The Indian Cine Exhibitors Federation has asked for similar relief from Uttar Pradesh Government but has also asked Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to waive cinema license fees.
The Multiplex Association too has asked for reliefs from various state governments and sources also revealed that if all goes well and theatres reopen, one may just get to see ‘Sooryavanshi’ in cinemas on August 15.