Hyderabad: The Telangana Cinema Theatres Employees Union along and the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) asked the Telangana government to begin a viable programme for the reopening of theatres in order to protect the livelihood of thousands of employees in the film industry.
Several employees staged a protest at RTC cross roads in Musheerabad demanding that the government reopen theatres. Filmmaker Natti Kumar said that the central and state governments have given relaxations to all sectors, and asked why the same is not being extended to cinema halls. “Thousands of employees from the theatre sector and their families are struggling since six months. All the theatres in the city have to reopen immediately,” said one of the protestors.
The protest was led by CITU general secretary G. Venkatesh, who said, “Problems had been brought to the attention of the Minister of Cinematography in the past for a solution on labor issues, but he said he had not received any clearance from the government for almost three months. here is a situation where these movie theater workers have to feed one meal a day to their families.”
The Telangana cinema theatres employees’ union state president M Marenna said that there is a substantial number of employees working in theaters who have not received government support. He said that many in the industry “don’t understand why the public has been actively encouraged to hit restaurants and get children back in school. Marenna also pointed out that people are also back in offices, while theatre workers are not allowed to get back to work.
“The film industry is undergoing huge losses, just so theatre staff, actors, crew and creative can earn something during this worrying time,” stated M Marenna.
Another actor, who was at the protest, said, “If it’s OK to go to go to a crowded airport and sit on a plane for hours, it must be ok to go to a film show”. Theatres in the city are currently closed but the citizens also theatre workers are waiting for the government to reopen the cinema halls with all safety precautions.
While most of the activities have been allowed in the country to resume, reports of the government allowing cinema halls to reopen have been widely spread over various social platforms.
A report has claimed that the Ministry of Home Affairs has ordered the reopening of theatres from October 1 with strict regulations in place. The Press Information Bureau (PIB) however debunked those reports and confirmed that no such decision has been taken.