- Film theatres drop below 50% occupancy
By Charumini de Silva
The cinema industry has become the latest sector struggling in the aftermath of Easter Sunday terror attacks, and is urging authorities for support to maintain business and encourage people to patronise theatres.
Accordingly, the number of customers patronising film theatres have dropped below 50% occupancy, and the stakeholders are now finding it difficult to maintain their businesses, where they have invested heavily over the past few years.
“The film industry had been very lucrative and thriving over the past years, where there were significant new entrants to the market. However, due to this unfortunate terror attacks in the island, it has crippled the normal lifestyle of the people and the economy. In this backdrop, we are struggling to continue our businesses,” industry sources told the Daily FT.
They said that most of the film theatres went for a full shutdown of operations for almost two weeks post-Easter Sunday attacks on 21 April, but even after resuming business, the number of customers coming to cinemas has still not recovered.
“Although every cinema has set up its own security measures from checking vehicles, to bags to restraining piece of luggage into theatres, there is still fright instilled in the minds of the people. Contrary to our expectations after resuming operations, the number of people coming to cinemas have dropped drastically over the past month,” they pointed out.
Despite some of the highest grossing international movies being screened in many theatres island-wide at present, they said many have failed to fill cinema halls with a reasonable occupancy over the past several weeks of operations to run a profitable business.
“In addition to the movies that we screen regularly, millions and billions of rupees have been invested into making these theatres with latest technologies and facilities. At this juncture, there are hardly any customers at our cinemas, and it is daunting,” they added.