Theatres in Kerala, which had remained shut for months due to the COVID-19 induced lockdown, will be reopened on January 13, Kerala Film Chamber of Commerce officials said here on Monday.

Tamil film star Vijay starrer Master will be the first movie to be released in Kerala theatres that day, they said.

The decision to reopen the theatres was taken at a meeting of the Kerala Film Chamber of Commerce officials here, after the state government decided to address the KFCC’s main demands and concerns.

Earlier in the day, the Kerala government announced that it has decided to waive entertainment tax for cinemas from January to March 2021 along with 50 per cent

reduction in the fixed charges on electricity during the lockdown period since March last year to help the film industry in the state.

Kerala Film Chamber officials said the government has addressed all their concerns and they were grateful to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for the special interest he took in the matter. Giving its nod to reopen cinemas, the government on January 1 had said theatres could reopen with 50 per cent occupancy and adhering to strict COVID- 19 guidelines.

Only 50 per cent of the seats should be occupied or only half the tickets sold, the government had said, adding that the health department’s COVID protocol should be strictly followed.

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