Hyderabad: Months after they were shut down due to lockdown during second wave of COVID-19, theatres in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are slowly going back to life, with two Telugu films set to release on Friday.
Theatres were completely shut in Telangana from May 12 and in Andhra Pradesh in late April due to lockdown announced.
While the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh governments had allowed theatres to open as most of the curfew curbs were relaxed in the state, film exhibitors had postponed reopening, seeking various relaxations from the state government to enhance revenue, and also awaiting the release of new films.
Now, the re-opening is going to be associated with two new Telugu films, Thimmarusu and Ishq – Not a Love Story, which are going to have theatrical releases.
Thimmarusu, starring Satyadev and Priyanka Jawalkar, and Ishq – Not a Love Story, starring Teja Sajja and Priya Prakash Varrier, are among the first Telugu movies to release in theatres since the onset of the second wave of COVID-19.
Theatres are opening up with the restrictions of only 50 per cent occupancy in Andhra Pradesh, and full occupancy is allowed in Telangana.
NV Prasad, a film distributor and exhibitor said: “With a night curfew from 10 pm to 6 am still in place in Andhra Pradesh, theatres will open accordingly.”
And with film exhibitors facing huge losses amid the pandemic, and many single-screen theatres shutting down, which depicts that in both states have been seeking various relaxations from the state government, to help mitigate losses.
In Andhra Pradesh, the moviemakers have been demanding the government to increase the prices for the tickets.
A press conference was arranged for the Andhra Pradesh Film Exhibitors Association in Vijayawada, where NV Prasad, who is the former president of the Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce before its bifurcation, said, “We are hoping the Chief Minister will address exhibitors’ concerns. Unless our problems are addressed soon, many theatres are not in a condition to reopen.”
In Telangana, the multiplex chain INOX announced that its cinemas will reopen from July 30 at Hyderabad’s GVK One and Maheshwari Parameshwari malls with a full 100 per cent vaccinated team.
PVR Cinemas has also further announced that its theatres will reopen from July 30 in states and union territories that have allowed theatres to reopen, only if all of its staff members are fully vaccinated.
Numerous Tollywood releases like Love Story, Virata Parvam, Radhe Shyam, Tuck Jagadish, Acharya, Akhanda and others were stalled from releasing in April and May due to the second wave of COVID-19. Hindi films like Gangubai Kathiawadi, Sooryavanshi, Atrangi Re, Liger, KGF 2 were lined up to be released.