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Will Tamil Nadu Making Vaccination Certificate Mandatory for Cinema Halls Affect Movie Business?

Tamil Nadu government has made Covid-19 vaccination certificate mandatory for people visiting public places. Movie theatres have also been included. Simbu starrer Maanaadu, the political sci-fi film, has hit the theatres on November 25 worldwide after multiple troubles. Earlier, Maanaadu was scheduled to be released for Diwali on November 4 along with megastar Rajinikanth’s Annaatthe. However, Annaatthe occupied most of the screens which made the makers of Maanaadu to decide to postpone the film, expecting a wider release.

Silambarasan aka Simbu-starrer Maanaadu seemed to continuously face issues on its way as the government made Covid-19 vaccine certificate mandatory for public places, including theatres. Subsequently, Maanaadu film producer Suresh Kamatchi took to twitter criticizing the state government’s mandate, said, “This is the first time in the world that a person has been asked to vaccinate just to go to a theatre. How bigger a human rights violation is that to interfere with someone’s freedom? People should be allowed in theatres as before (sic),” the tweet read.

Moreover, the producer also wrote to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, protesting against the need for theatre patrons to carry a Covid-19 vaccination certificate. After the advent of OTT, footfall in theatres has reduced and it’s only the release of big films like Annaatthe that brought the audience back to the big screens. Bringing back 100 percent occupancy has been a big boon for the film industry but the recent mandate of allowing only vaccinated people into the theatres have shocked the film industry.

“While a lot of people still don’t carry their mobiles to the theatres, such a mandate would stop them from visiting the theatres and if those who make it to are sent back for this reason, it would discourage them from coming back again,” he pointed out, insisting that the government should revoke the mandate.

Speaking to News18, film correspondent and commentator Bismi said, “It’s a very good initiative by the state government making Covid-19 vaccine certificate mandatory in public places which would surely encourage unvaccinated people to take a jab. Some countries too have a similar mandate, which is a welcome move. But the question here is, instead of government announcing the mandate on November 20, why haven’t they announced by November 4 during the release of Annaatthe? If the government would have announced vaccine certificate mandate for Annaathe, multiple theatre audiences would’ve showed interest to take their jab just to watch their Thalaivar’s film on big screen,” he said.

“On one side, multiplexes in cities are strictly following the vaccine certificate mandate, but the issues are with theatres that are mainly in rural areas. Owing to economical loss during Covid crisis, the owners of the theatres are only seeking the crowd for their business, rather not the vaccine mandate. Thus, the state government must sort out the practical issues which may even mislead to duplicating Covid vaccine certificates.

“Moreover, the vaccine certificates must contain the concerned person’s photo that would help in stopping the malpractices. Eventually, children below 18 years have not yet started receiving their vaccinations and films with ‘U’ certificate will lose the kid audience. As Covid-19 vaccine mandates spread, so do the fake certificates too. Thus, it’s the duty of the state government to focus on the practical issues of making the Covid-19 vaccine certificate mandatory before implementing widely,” Bismi further pointed.​

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