In a surprising turn of events, Priya Cinema, one of Kolkata’s iconic single-screen theaters, has decided not to showcase the highly anticipated Bollywood film ‘Jawan,’ featuring Shah Rukh Khan. This unfortunate decision comes as a result of contentious demands made by SVF, the film’s distributor in Kolkata.
SVF‘s demands, considered by many as illogical, include Priya Cinemas showcasing SVF’s own Bengali films exclusively in all showtimes during the upcoming Diwali season, notably during the festival of Kali Puja. Instead of screening the highly anticipated YRF Spy Universe’s ‘Tiger 3,’ Priya Cinemas was asked to prioritize Bengali content.
The decision has sparked concerns about the economic viability of exclusively running Bengali films during the festive season. It raises questions about whether local Bengali films can attract audiences comparable to a tentpole film like ‘Tiger 3,’ and whether Priya Cinemas can sustain the potential financial losses such a move might incur.
Arijit Dutta, the owner of Priya Cinema, has stood firm in his refusal to comply with SVF’s demands, leading to the unfortunate cancellation of ‘Jawan‘ screenings at the esteemed theater.
The ripple effect of this decision is already evident, as one fan club that had initially planned to screen ‘Jawan’ at Priya Cinemas on the 7th of October has now shifted its plans to Bijoli Cinema.
This development has raised concerns about the plight of single-screen theaters in Kolkata, which are already struggling. Many single-screen exhibitors heavily rely on big-budget films to fill seats, and the refusal to screen ‘Jawan’ is seen as a detrimental setback.
This controversy highlights the challenges and tensions within the entertainment industry, especially as it pertains to the distribution and exhibition of films, and leaves fans of Shah Rukh Khan and ‘Jawan’ in Kolkata searching for alternative venues to catch the much-awaited release.