Despite a number of blockbusters lined up for Onam release, with Covid still raging in Kerala and the daily number of new cases touching as high as 52 per cent of the total daily cases reported nationally, the Pinarayi Vijayan government has decided not to open the movie halls anytime soon.
The Onam season starts next week. The big names awaiting include Mohanlal starrer “Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea”, which has already won a number of awards. State Minister for Culture and Cinema Saji Cherian said it will not be possible to open the movie halls as the daily positivity rate touched 15 per cent, only the other day.
“So with the TPR continuing to remain high we will not be able to allow permission for movie halls to open. Let us wait for the TPR to fall below 8 per cent and once it does, we will decide then. We all know that the entire film industry here is struggling, but what can be done, we all have to be patient. Perhaps by December, we are expecting everything to be normal,” said Kerala State Minister for Culture and Cinema Saji Cherian.
The Covid pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the Malayalam film industry and according to industry sources close to 100 films are ready for release with around Rs 800 crore investment stuck.
There are 720 movie halls in the state of Kerala and the owners are also in dire straits. Just when many were expecting the halls will open, the second wave began in Kerala, unlike the other states, there has been no respite.