Double trouble for cinema owners in Kerala's Malappuram

Malappuram (Kerala) [India], April 29 (ANI): Cinema hall owners across Malappuram have been facing double trouble owing to virus related restrictions.

With the cinema halls being shut since the early weeks of March, much before the nationwide lockdown was enforced, no revenue is being generated. However, the owners have been incurring expenses as the halls still require being cleaned up and for the upkeep of equipment, etc.

Jai Mohan, a cinema hall owner, while speaking to ANI said that there has been "no reduction in expenses at all while the income generation has been zero". "This situation has been going on for almost 60 days and we have reached a point where it has become difficult to survive any longer," said Mohan.

With regard to expectations from the government in terms of relaxations during and post the pandemic, Mohan said: "We demand a reduction in fixed charges of electricity, and considerable reduction in entertainment taxes, else we won't be able to survive."

Another cinema hall owner, Bharathan, echoed similar sentiments, while also adding that like other establishments, cinemas would not open immediately once the lockdown is over. However, he was upbeat that the state government would support the cinema owners by providing some relaxations in fixed charges and entertainment tax.

"Like other establishments, we know that cinema halls would not open immediately but we are confident that the government would support us as we gave given huge advances, all of which amounts to lakhs," he said.

A total of 10 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Kerala on Wednesday, taking the total count to 495 in the state including 123 active cases as per the data released by the state government. (ANI)