As the number of single screens decline, and multiplexes increase in Karnataka, Kannada films are getting a raw deal as these multiplexes show their preference for non-Kannada films. Kannada film buffs have come up with a concept of ‘Kannada Multiplexes’ that will offer a choice of Kannada films to the Kannada film buff at a single location. But will it work?
The number of single screens are decreasing day by day. With most of the theatres being converted into malls or complexes, the number of single screens are falling drastically. While some single screens are being converted into multiplexes, this conversion has hardly helped the Kannada film industry as they prefer to screen non- Kannada films.The concept of a main theatre in Bengaluru’s heart Gandhinagar may also come to an end soon.
Maybe it is the right time to have ‘Kannada Multiplexes’, a multiplex wherein only Kannada films will be screened. This term has been coined by a group of hard-core Kannada film fans called "Only Kannada Films".No other language films will be screened, no matter the star of the film. “Kannada Multiplexes is a concept wherein only Kannada films will be screened. No other language film will be screened what so ever. This idea came when a group of friends were discussing the issue of multiplexes on WhatsApp. We hope that this plan is implemented," Sreyanka, a member of the group said.
“It’s high time Kannada films be given preference in Karnataka. It is really sad that Kannada films are being given step motherly treatment in Karnataka itself. Shivarajkumar's critically acclaimed film "Santheyalli Nintha Kabira", had only two shows in multiplexes in Bengaluru in its second week. It is such a shame that a film featuring a big star like Shivarajkumar is suffered like this. If films of Shivarajkumar can suffer, imagine what will happen to films of new comers”, he added.
Speaking about this, Vikram, an executive producer said, “It is a really good concept. But will it work? There is a huge shortage of screens for Kannada films in Karnataka. There are so many films which suffer due to fewer screens. But who will take the initiative? A top actor or producer should take the lead. State government should also support. Maybe a start-up fund by top corporates may encourage young entrepreneurs to get involved in this. By setting up Kannada Multiplexes, there will be no problem on depending on the current multiplexes, which is giving step motherly treatment to Kannada films."
However there are some who disagree with this. Raju, a film buff feels that too much importance is being given to multiplexes. He says, "I feel there should be more single screens in our state. The distributor share will be more in single screens than in multiplexes. The image of multiplexes being better than single screen is wrong. If a single screen is maintained well, people will prefer a single screen any day. Cauvery theatre, Veerabadreshwar theatre, Venkateshwara theatre and Urvashi theatre in Bengaluru are the best example of this. Due to their well-maintained infrastructure they are attracting good audiences."If the ticket rate is affordable, and the facilities are good, people will surely come to watch good Kannada films which are getting better by the day.
The State Government must and should play an important role in formulation of this policy. They have already announced construction of Janata theatres. However there has been no update regarding it.The major hindrance to these proposals are that only a few voices are raised in favour of them. These proposals require the support of all stake holders – the industryand public organizations included. The media too has to play a pivotal and proactive role in spreading and pursuing such ideas until they reach a logical and fruitful conclusion.
These are times of high positivity for the Kannada film industry, and this concept can take the industry to greater heights. Imaginea film goer having a choice of Kannada films to watch at any time of the day at one single location. It would be both a matter of convenience and pride for all Kannadigas. But will this dream ever become a reality? Only time will tell.