Bhubaneswar: Demonetisation has affected one and all. While people are busy queuing up in front of ATMs and bank counters, who cares for recreational activities and entertainment? Even though the demonetisation is going to complete one month, things are yet to be normal. The demonetisation has a bad impact on film industry. The single screen theatres in the city are facing more problems post demonetisation and resultant cash crunch, as most of them used to do business over counter sale of tickets. Even the plights of single screen owners and people working there was trending in twitter today.
In the first week of demonetisation the cinema halls witnessed almost zero attendance and things changed a little from second week. But even after four weeks of the economic clamp down, the situation has not changed yet and owners of these single screens said that the occupancy rate is below 50 percent.
“The sudden declaration of demonetisation brought to us huge loss. Even today people come up with Rs 2000 note for a ticket of Rs 100. So it’s a trouble for us and we hope in the coming days things will change as early as possible,’ said Lingraj Panda, manager of Maharaja Picture palace in Bhubaneswar.
The hall owners also believe that the demonetisation has deprived school and college students of their pocket money and their numbers have gone down drastically. “Mostly these students used to come in large numbers, but they are now penniless as they are not getting cash from parents now,” said Sudarshan Tarai, manager of Sangam Cineplex in Cuttack.
Even online ticket booking sites have not seen any hike in ticket bookings post demonetisation despite the prime minister urging people to go for cashless transaction. Swagat Kar, CEO of Book Ticket. Now, a Bhubaneswar based online ticket booking firm said that there is no such hike in online booking. “He however blamed it on lack of big budget and big banner films. With the release of big banner films, things may change,” said Kar.
Meanwhile singlescreen owners have started using e-wallets and keeping POS machines to allow movie goers to buy tickets easily at counters and watch films. “We are accepting money through paytm and are planning to put swiping machine at counters,” said Panda of Maharaja.