The first and second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has largely affected society in some form that can remain unnoticed. The cinema halls are one such example of the result of the drastic Covid-19 imposed lockdown in the undivided Ballari-Vijayanagara districts.
10 out of 24 cinema halls in the Ballari and Vijayanagara district has been shut down due to severe economic and financial crisis faced by the owners. The hardships of the owners of theatres have been evident ever since the first centre imposed lockdown.
Already, a number of theatres in the district are being demolished, a commercial building and a Kalyana mandapa are being constructed out of cinema halls. While at the same time, other theatres have decided to close down permanently.
The government had allowed for the functioning of cinema halls after the restrictions imposed by the first Covid-19 lockdown were lifted. But the lack of release of movies of superstars led to the downfall of the owners of the theatres.
The burdens of taxpaying, electricity bills, local firms and wages of the theatre workers are a few factors that have pushed the owners of the theatres to take the absurd decision of shutting down the theatres and for them to convert to commercial buildings.
Owners who have suffered financial hardship due to Kovid will inevitably demolish theatres and build commercial buildings. “We will close some more theatres in the upcoming days”, said Lakshmikantha Reddy, president of Bellary Theatre Owners’ Association.