Akshay Kumar comes to the rescue, promises to help Gaiety-Galaxy
After paper brings to light how Gaiety-Galaxy owner has to take a loan to stay afloat amid lockdown, Akshay Kumar offers financial aid to help him tide over losses
Last week, mid-day reported that Manoj Desai, owner of Gaiety-Galaxy, had to take a bank loan to provide salaries to his employees amid the lockdown (How will the show go on?, April 16). Four days since, Akshay Kumar has come forward to ensure that Mumbai's much loved cinema does not suffer a harsh fate as the theatre shutdown runs into its second month. "Three days ago, I got a call from Akshayji. He offered to provide financial assistance if the scenario continues. It was kind of him to offer help, but we should find a way to sustain ourselves. We have managed to collect enough funds to pay the salaries for this month, but the theatre shutdown will have long-term ramifications. Our focus is to ensure we don't trim staff or resort to pay cuts," says Desai.
Two weeks into the shutdown, Desai and business partner Arun Nair had decided to increase the ticket prices once the cinemas re-opened. However, with the lockdown being extended to May 3, Desai is aware that making up for the losses of 45 days is a pipe dream. "I will head to Gaiety and Maratha Mandir today to finalise our plan of action for May. We are reworking our plans to ensure that we don't have to seek support from the industry folk."
No aid from YRF?
Desai is also the owner of Maratha Mandir that screened Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) for 25 years, thus making the Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol starrer the longest-running film in the history of Indian cinema. He laments that Yash Raj Films, the studio behind the love story, has not offered a helping hand. "We have been running the film for so long. I can't go begging to them; they should have spared a thought," he said in an interview to mid-day last week.
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