At least 360 cinema theatres in Kerala downed shutters today as part of a token strike called by Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation protesting the increased power tariff.

The federation’s General-Secretary, M.C. Bobby, said the recent hike in power tariff had resulted in increase of about 50 per cent in their electricity bills. It will be difficult to run the theatres with such a huge increase. Besides, with the diesel prices also going up, there would be a further erosion in their returns, Bobby told PTI.

If there was no favourable response from the Government, all theatres in the State would be shut indefinitely from October 17, he said.

The Federation also demanded that Rs 2, collected as maintenance charge from each ticket, should be increased to Rs 5 and Malayalam films should be exempted from entertainment tax.

The entertainment tax in the corporation areas is 25 per cent, municipality 20 per cent and panchayats 15 per cent.

Multiplex theatres in Kozhikode and nearby Angalamally are also participating in the strike, he said.

(This article was published on September 20, 2012)
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