Sterling is shut down
As you can read here, Sterling cinema is shut. It will be converted into a 3-screen multiplex. Multiplexes make huge money, not only from usage of space and reduction in fixed overheads but also, though tax exemptions. It’s a smart business move by Noel Tata.
I can understand that economics will push more cinemas down the multiplex route. However, the fact that governments are incentivising multiplexes is incredible. On one hand, the government actually forces multiplexes to hike ticket rates so that the one-screen movie halls could attract viewers. On the other hand, they subsidise ‘capital-intensive projects’ like multiplexes, for attracting investments! For more on what the government does, go here.
“For all existing and upcoming multiplexes there will be total exemption from entertainment tax for the first three years. For the next two years, a 25-per-cent exemption will be available. All other taxes, such as property tax, water tax will stay. The multiplexes will have to fulfil certain conditions before they become eligible for the concessions…Each multiplex should have a video parlour for the children, an art gallery, an exhibition centre, a cyber cafe besides an adequate number of refreshment stalls and restaurants. One of the theatres in the complex should be utilised for staging Marathi plays for a certain number of days. Of course, there should be adequate space for car parking.”
Talk about meddling in things where the markets can play a role. A puny little space with three paintings becomes the art gallery and exhibition centre, some Marathi movies are shown at strange times in one of the halls. Plus, somewhere at the back, the place will have a computer called the cyber cafe. All this to enjoy fiscal benefits. What does this result in?
My favourite cinema hall being shut down for a while.