New Delhi: The Kerala government on Monday announced movie theatres in Kerala will be exempted from paying entertainment tax till March 2021. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan tweeted saying, “Exempted cinema theaters from entertainment tax from Jan to Mar (2021).” Also Read - Madras HC Reverses Tamil Nadu's Decision on Seating Capacity in Cinemas Back to 50% Till Jan 11

The Kerala CM also said that fixed electricity bills for theatres have been reduced by 50 per cent for the 10 months during which the cinemas were closed. Further, validity of various licenses have been extended for theatres. Also Read - Centre Directs Tamil Nadu to Revoke Decision of Allowing Full Seating Capacity in Theatres

Vijayan added in the tweet, “Our creative industries will play a crucial part in the recovery.”

The entertainment industry, especially movie halls have been hit hard due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After the Chief Minister’s announcement, the Kerala Film Chamber Of Commerce thanked him for accepting the demands and said that the cinema theatres would reopen from Wednesday, January 13.

“Malayalam film world says thanks to CM. He accepted all our demands with record speed. We resolved all issues of exhibitors, producers and distributors. So theatres will reopen from Jan 13. The first release will be Tamil movie of Vijay, Masters,” Kerala Film Chamber Of Commerce said.

Kerala Film Chamber and Commerce (KFCC) president Vijayakumar on Wednesday said that movie theatres in Kerala will not open until a decision is made on the exemption of entertainment tax and withdrawing 50 per cent audience limit.

“Theaters will not reopen in Kerala without giving due consideration to the demands we have raised to the state government. We can’t open theatres until a decision is made on the exemption of entertainment tax and withdrawing 50 per cent audience limit,” Vijayakumar said.

“Kerala should be given the same consideration as other states giving for cinema. Admission of 50 per cent people to theatres is very low. The decision was taken jointly at a meeting convened by the Film Chamber,” he added.

Vijayakumar further informed that KFCC informed the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan that theatres cannot be opened without withdrawing the entertainment tax.

“We have informed the Chief Minister many times that theatres cannot be opened without withdrawing the entertainment tax. The non-opening of theatres is not a protest against the government,” KFCC president said.

Earlier, the state government had given nod to open theatres from January 5.

(With inputs from ANI)