34 Mumbai cine halls to be shut down

The licenses of 34 cinema halls and multiplexes have been revoked by the Maharashtra government for violating rules of exhibiting Maratha Movies.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 | 1:14:23 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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The licenses of 34 cinema halls and multiplexes have been revoked by the Maharashtra government for violating rules of exhibiting Maratha Movies. The Mumbai police have served notices to 35 cinemas, not inclined in screeningMumbai Cinema Halls Marathi movies, canceling their licenses for a period ranging from one day to one week. The crackdown follows violation of the Cinema Regulating Act, 1969, which makes it mandatory for cinema theatres in the state to screen Marathi movies for at least four weeks in a calendar year. Cinema halls say that screening Marathi films for even four weeks a year will run up huge losses.

Owners of cinema halls and multiplexes say that mixing Marathi and commercial cinema is a flop formula. Probably that is the reason why distributors of Marathi films distribute tickets free of cost just to draw in the audiences. The best evidence is the closure of Bharat Mata, the only cinema hall in Mumbai that screened Marathi films exclusively. A month ago, when a section of Marathi film producers called on deputy chief minister R R Patil to protest against the failure of theatre owners to exhibit Marathi films, Patil had asked the home department to examine the rules before taking stringent action. Home ministry officials said the survey of cinemas by the government found 78 cinemas not showing Marathi films as per the law. Preliminary notices were issued to these theatres following which 43 theatre screens fell in line. But 34 cine halls were still errant including Eros, New Excelsior, Liberty, New Empire, Alfred, Dreamland, Moti, Maratha Mandir, Chitra, Sharada, Star City, Cinemax, Globus, Ashish, Jai Ganesh, Chandan, Movie Time, Movie Gem, Deep Mandir, Palace and Naaz. These theatre and multiplex owners can file an appeal against the police action before the state home ministry within 30 days.

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