A section of movie house owners in Kerala today launched an indefinite strike to press their demand for hike in ticket fares.
Around 350 threatres, most of them in cities and towns affiliated to the Kerala Film Exhibitors’ Federation (KFEF), remained closed today as part of the strike, industry sources said.
The government, however, took a hard position holding it would be difficult to meet the exhibitors’ demand as most of their grievances had already been conceded.
The theatre owners called for the strike after the government rejected their demand to increase “service charge” levied from the viewers from Rs 2 to Rs 7.
Coming down heavily on the theatre owners, Minister of Cinema Ganesh Kumar said there was no justification for the strike and it would affect the Malayalam film industry when it had been on a revival path.
“The government cannot accept the demands of the theatre owners. Malayalam cinema is passing through a positive phase. Some people would always appear to do things to destroy the cinema when the industry is in a revival path,” Kumar, himself a cine actor, said.
KFEF President ‘Liberty’ Basheer, however, told PTI that the service charge of Rs 2 was introduced in 2004 and it had not been revised since then. “We are forced to go on a strike as the government has declined to listen to our grievance.”
Reports from different parts of the State said as many as 350 movie houses remained closed. However, screening at multiplexes and the cinemas in suburban areas were not affected.