Cinema strike upsets movie buffs in East Godavari

The sudden closure of cinemas has come as major surprise for movie buffs in East Godavari district, a place where people eat and drink cinema.

Even as the newspapers and television channels are providing updates on the ongoing bandh being observed by the exhibitors, people from the city and the surroundings continued to visit the theatres with a hope of resuming the shows at any moment.

“It is quite boring to sit in the room on a holiday. We came here to check whether the strike was called off, but heard no good news,” said N.V. Srikanth, an engineering student, who visited the Devi theatre complex along with his friends.

There are as many 145 theatres in the district, including 16 in the district headquarters. All the theatres are taking part in the bandh against the screening charges prescribed by the digital providers at the cost of overall collections to the tune of about ₹2 crore a day.

Livelihood concerns

“We have lost our livelihood. Unlike the theatre employees, we don’t have monthly salaries but work on daily wages,” said B. Chinna Nagaraju, worker at the canteen attached to Anand theatre complex.

The cinema halls are providing employment to about 1,000 people in jobs such as gatemen and counter clerks, who have kept their fingers crossed about the outcome of the strike.

Renovation works

Managements of theatres like ‘Tirumala’ on the Main Road, however, are trying to make use of the strike and undertaking the renovation works. “We are expecting a positive outcome from the dialogue between distributors and the digital service providers scheduled for Monday. In all likelihood, the issue will be resolved and the screenings will be resumed,” said P. Srinivasa Rao, in-charge of Suresh Movies film distribution firm.

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