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Kerala theatres to remain shut on June 7 and 8, protesting against early release of movies on OTT platforms

A theatre in Kozhikode;

A theatre in Kozhikode;
| Photo Credit: K Ragesh

Theatres affiliated to the Film Exhibitors’ United Organisation of Kerala (FEUOK) will remain shut on June 7 and 8 as a token protest against the alleged violation of the 42-day window between the theatrical and OTT (over-the-top) release of various movies.

Cinemas across the State will be shut down indefinitely once the government and the trade organisations failed to resolve the issue within 20 days. The people behind the movie ‘2018’, which had a dream run in theatres, had violated the agreement by releasing it in a digital platform within 32 days of its theatrical release, said K. Vijayakumar, president of FEUOK, here on Tuesday.

Theatre owners said there was a sharp decline in the booking of tickets for the film after it was announced that the digital streaming would start from June 7 onwards. Mr. Vijayakumar said that there was no other option, but to take stringent measures including closing down theatres in view of the continuing violation of the agreement on the 42-day window reached upon by the Kerala Film Chamber of Commerce.

Theatres under the organisation would not screen the movies of producers, who violated the agreement from now onwards, the owners said. The association was also planning to set up a system to assess the content of movies based on the inference that several films that lacked quality had a poor run in cinemas.

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