Karnataka permits complete occupancy in theatres for four weeks

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Karnataka government on Wednesday has given the permit of absolute 100 per cent occupancy in theatres for a period of four weeks, as a move succumbing to the pressure of the Sandalwood industry.

Stars of the Kannada film industry, have protested on Twitter against the decision of the state government which was about giving only 50 per cent permit for occupancy in cinema theatres till February 28. The state government implemented the decision, despite the orders issued from the Centre about the 100 per cent occupancy and seating capacity As the big releases were scheduled for the month, the decision was not accepted by the producers and distributors, urging for an audiebce to talk with the Chief Minister.

The hashtag ‘#KFIDemandsFullOccupancy’ was trending on Twitter with several actors like Shivrajakumar, Puneeth Rajkumar and also Dhruva Sarja, whose release Pogaru is scheduled for February 19 posting for the demand.

There will be a panel meeting on Friday with the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce led by president Jayaraj with BS Yediyurappa to address the demands. Jayaraj said, “A meeting has been scheduled for today. As and when the CM allocates time for the meeting, the delegation will speak to him requesting 100% occupancy. The Union Government has already issued orders that theatres can operate with full occupancy. We are hoping that the state government will also allow us to do the same.”

Regarding the occupancy of thetares, Karnataka Producers’ Association President GK Ramakrishna said, “We were fearful that our films won’t collect revenue but Union Government’s decision helped us and we heaved a sigh of relief. However, the state’s decision was jolting.  The State government is going against the Union government’s decision. Our demand is to get full occupancy in theatres in the state and we will not settle unless they [the government] agree with our demands.”

The tweets of the producers, actors and common masses iterated that if malls and markets are open, why are the cinema halls ruled with 50 per cent seating capacity.

The statement issued in the notice by the Department of Health said, “After reviewing the current scenario of COVID-19 and also considering the possible second wave of COVID-19, it has been decided that as a matter of abundant precaution and in the larger interest of public health, 50% capacity of seating in cinema halls shall continue till 28th of February, 2021.”

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