I am shutting down all my theatres: Liberty Basheer
Liberty Basheer, the former president of Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation, is planning to shut down all his theatres and turn into a shopping mall. Last year, the Exhibitors Federation presided by Liberty Basheer called for the cinema strike demanding a 50-50 profit share in the theatrical collections. The strike lasted for over 40 days resulting in huge commercial losses for the industry.
All the movies scheduled to release for Christmas were stalled by the exhibitors. Finally, the strike came to an with the intervention of actor Dileep. He formed a new union, Film Exhibitors United Organisation of Kerala (FEUOK). The union has the backing of producers and the distributors association.
After the withdrawal of the strike, Malayalam movies started to hit screens. Mohanlal’s Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol, Dulquer Salmaan’s Jomonte Suviseshangal, Jayasurya’s Fukri and Ezra starring Prithviraj were released widely in the state. However, the movies were not allotted to the theaters owned by Liberty Basheer.
Liberty Basheer’s Liberty complex in Thalassery houses five screens. Currently, only four of them is functioning. Little Paradise, Liberty Movie House and Mini Paradise are screening C- class semi porn movies like Pathimoonampakkam Paarkkam, Secret girls 009, Pollathaval. Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees and Sasikumar’s Balle Vellaiyathevaa are also being screened in the complex.
Liberty Basheer has decided to demolish the building and turn into a shopping complex.
He said, “I have met the party secretary four times this month. I have also met the Chief Minister. Though they have all promised to do necessary action, I think the new union is not ready to initiate anything. I have no other option than demolishing the theater complex in Thalassery. I’m planning to convert it into a shopping mall. There are are more than 50 employees who depend on these theaters for their daily sources of income. That the only reason for screening such movies.“