Power relief for cinema owners | Sunday Observer
One-year grace period to settle dues

Power relief for cinema owners

3 January, 2021

Power and Energy Minister Dullas Alahapperuma has agreed to grant a one-year grace period for movie theatre owners to settle their electricity bills, a media release from the Sri Lanka National Film Corporation (SLNFC) stated. This was decided to help overcome their financial difficulties due to the closure of movie theatres from March 2020 on account of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some 194 movie theatres island-wide registered with the SLNFC are eligible for this power concession.

The SLNFC added that the decision was reached following a meeting between the SLNFC chairman Dr. Jayantha Dharmadasa and Minister Alahapperuma on the instructions of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who is also the Minister of Cultural Affairs.

The concession will help movie theatre owners to settle their unpaid electricity bills from March to December 2020 in 12 months (12 equal instalments).

Minister Alahapperuma has instructed the Ceylon Electricity Board and the Lanka Electricity Company not to disconnect the electricity supply due to arrears during this period, it said.

Requests by the Association of Film Exhibitors and challenges faced by movie theatre owners including long-term inactivation of technical tools such as digital projectors during the Covid-19 pandemic were considered in this decision.

All movie theatres (except those in isolated areas) were reopened from January 1, 2021.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa had instructed the authorities to reopen cinemas in the country, except those in isolated areas. The authorities have instructed that cinemas be reopened and permitted to operate in keeping with health guidelines to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.