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May 25,2015(aGENCY) : Hyderabad: At a time when fleapits are giving way to multiplexes even in municipalities and smaller towns across the two Telugu speaking States and the ticket prices are skyrocketing, there are all the reasons for the common man to cheer about as plans are afoot to set up mini theatres in every nook and cranny of these States. If things fall in place, both the States will soon have 2,000 mini theatres in residential colonies, bus depots, RDOs and mandal offices in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh which can accommodate 60 to 150 persons and will offer tickets at affordable ticket rates between Rs 30 and Rs 50. Media baron and producer Ramoji Rao who attended a meeting of Telugu Chalanachitra Parirakshana Samithi (TCPS), an organisation working for the promotion of small films and headed by leading producer Chadalavada Srinivasa Rao, recently lauded this mini-theatre concept which would bring cinema closer to moviegoers at affordable ticket rates.
“Due to unaffordable ticket rates in existing theatres, middle and lower middle class families are turning away from theatres which resulted in drastic fall in viewership. So, we thought of introducing this mini theatre idea to make cinema accessible and affordable to common man,” said Srinivasa Rao, chairman, TCPS.“Now small producers can experiment with themes since they can release their films in hundreds of mini theatres and raise the bar on Telugu cinema,” he added. After watching a power-point presentation, Ramoji Rao, addressing a delegation of over 250 producers and exhibitors at Ramoji Film City, reportedly supported this mini theatre concept and felt that it would promote good and sensible cinema. Ramoji Rao also said he made mostly content-driven movies even though he could afford to make films with hundreds of crores of rupees. “More than huge budget, I believed in grant content,” he opined. Buoyed by the big support, TCPS would pool funds and approach Chief Ministers K Chandrashekar Rao and N Chandrababu Naidu to seek concessions to set up mini theatres since they need just 2,500 square feet in mandal offices, RTC depots, RDO’s and also community halls in colonies to setup digital movie theatres which would cost Rs 12 to Rs 20 lakh each without adding land value. “Both governments should encourage this path-breaking concept and extend concessions to revive people’s interest in cinema. Already, mini theatres in Gujarat and Maharashtra are a big success and AMMA theatres in TN are ready to follow suit.Government activities will reach people faster through neighbourhood theatres and retail and national brands can also benefit,” said P Kumar,  office-bearer of TCPS.
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