Now, Ellora and Mini Rathindra lower the blinds.

On March 15, Ellora, a popular theater located on Souren Roy Road, with shutters closed. The last movie the theater had run was Thai Curry. Only five people had seen the movie in the 950 places. Co-owner Ratan Saha said the low sales figures were one of the main reasons for taking the drastic decision to close a theater built in the 70s. Ratan is now waiting for the state government to issue a notification about the service charge problem. On June 28, Ranadip Singha Roy closed the shutter of Mini Rathindra. This 654-seater was established in 1989. My grandfather, Rathindra Singha Roy, established Rathindra in 1984. It has a capacity of 1,434. The Mini Rathindra was built in 1989 with a smaller seating capacity. During the renovation, we have reduced the number of seats to 654. However, in recent times, we could not even sustain that, said Ranadip.

The first casualties were four theater employees. Including informal and permanent staff, we now have eight people working for Rathindra. Four, including pointers to the seats and reserve department officials, have been dismissed. With the kind of sales we have witnessed, it was difficult to run Mini Rathindra. The multiplex fashion has hit us hard. In addition, we also have to deal with politics and lobbying within the distribution fraternity. Indeed, we barely got good films to direct the theater, Ranadip added.

In June of last week, Mini Rathindra ran three shows. Two of them were from Jeet's star, Shesh Theke Shuru. The other was Bibaho Obhijaan of Birsa Dasgupta. On average, each show sold only 30 tickets when the capacity was 654. How could we continue this way? He asked.

By the end of the year, Ranadip also intends to close Rathindra. I do not know when it was the last time we had a show at home in Rathindra! With a capacity of 1,434, we usually sell only 200 tickets per show. Even a Salman Khan The movie does not get a full house. There are rumors of a multiplex coming in Sodepur . After that, there is no way you can continue, he added.

There are plans underway to build a commercial complex in this direction. The plane is almost ready. The architectural design is complete. We intend to have two screens on the first floor. Each one can have a capacity of 120-150. The rest can be a commercial space. We have spoken with great players in the market. If the agreements do not materialize, we will execute the screens ourselves, he added.

Does the plan to approach the state government to issue a notice about the service charge be of any help? Not really. The sales are not there. If that is not there, what will the service charge be for? Said Ranadip.

However, Ratan Saha, the co-owner of Ellora Cinema , is optimistic about reopening his theater. Four years back, we had taken over Ellora Cinema. I still want to run my theater. I do not want to be born to the ground for building an apartment. I love cinema and that has to be there. I have converted Ajanta cinema into a plex and it is running fine now. If I get the service charge incentive, I will certainly reopen Ellora. I have taken over Sandhya (Balurghat), Anandam Chitramandir (Memory), Debjani Cinema (Basirhat) and Chitra cinema (Bolpur). The service charge incentive will help me develop these properties into mini plexes, Ratan concluded.

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