The Union Home Ministry has asked the Tamil Nadu government to revoke its decision to allow 100 per cent occupancy in movie theatres.
The Home Ministry, which is the modal ministry on taking such decisions and formulating standard operating procedures (SOPs), told the Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) government that its decision to allow full occupancy in cinema theatres amounted to “dilution of Ministry of Home Affairs order" issued on 28 December.
The Guidelines for Surveillance, Containment and Caution released by the Centre directed that theatres outside containment zones are allowed up to 50 per cent occupancy. This directive will be in force till 31 January.
On Monday (4 January), the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) government came out with an order permitting theatres and multiplexes to run with 100 per cent occupancy, observing SOPs.
The State government passed the order after actor Vijay met the State Chief Minister and requested that 100 per cent occupancy be allowed in theatres ahead of the release of the film Master in which he stars along with Vijay Sethupaty.
The film, made at a budget of Rs 180 crore, is scheduled for release next week.
Besides Vijay, another Tamil actor Silambarasan also met EPS and sought to allow full occupancy in theatres. His film Eeswaran is also scheduled for release next week.
Both actors had urged the Chief Minister to permit full occupancy since the producers would stand to lose in the event of only 50 per cent occupancy being allowed.
The decision has been generally criticised given the fan following of Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi. One of the critics even termed it as “suicide” to allow 100 per cent occupancy in theatres.
The decision is seen as a blow to Kollywood, which was betting on these movies for its fortunes to recover.
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