Summers are supposed to be one of the busiest seasons for cinema halls. This has been the case for several years as youth and family audiences would flock to the theatres to make the most of the holiday season.

This summer, however, is different. With people prefer to stay home watching the IPL matches and some others preferring multiplexes, single-scree theatres are facing the toughest challenge yet. A two-month-long election campaign too has adversely hit the film exhibition business.

Unable to run the show any longer, about 400 single-screen theatres across Telangana have decided to shut shop for 10 days beginning tomorrow.

“There are hardly any audience these days. See, there are only 10-15 cars. We don’t even meet the expenses forget about making money,” Veereseam, 65-year-old supervisor at one of the oldest single-screen theatres, told businessline.

“There are no crowd-pullers this summer. Even if there is one or two big-budget films a month, we would get enough crowds,” he said.

Of the two much-anticipated summer releases, DJ Tillu’s sequel did very well, while Vijaya Devarakonda-starrer Family Star proved to be a dud at the Box-Office. With no notable film slated to be released in the next two weeks, single-screen theatre owners have decided to close the theatres for at least 10 days to cut costs.

Tammareddy Bharadwaja, a senior producer, said though there is a steady stream of films being released, it is not enough to support the single-screen economy. “Big-budget films are getting a lot of time. They take their own time in making them and releasing them. Smaller films don’t have the muscle to attract audiences,” he said.

Natti Kumar, a producer, opposes the move by the single-screen theatre owners. “How can they do that all of a sudden? They should have given at least a month’s notice. Several producers have scheduled releases, including on the upcoming Friday,” he said.

“What will happen in 10 days? Is it going to help them tide over the crisis,” he said.

D Suresh Babu, Managing Director of Suresh Productions, said that audience preferences have changed. “They are looking for experience. Though watching a film on a single-screen is cheaper relatively, the youth prefer to consume newer content experiences, including watching IPL matches in the cricket stadia,” he said.