Kathmandu: Gopi Krishna Cinema Hall, a landmark in Nepali film history, is set to close its doors on February 13, according to an announcement by Gopi Krishna Movies Pvt Ltd. Managing Director Niraj Paudel cited escalating losses amid the Covid-19 pandemic and issues with the current state tax system as the primary reasons for the closure.
Established 28 years ago by senior filmmaker Uddhav Paudel, the hall, once boasting a capacity of over 1800, has faced challenges, with only two auditoriums remaining after the main structure was demolished during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Despite historical successes, including a month-long full house run of Bollywood film ‘Raja Hindustani’ and a sold-out screening of ‘Baahubali 2,’ the decision to close the remaining two halls was deemed necessary.
The closure comes in the wake of a visit from Kathmandu Metropolitan City officials last month, urging tax settlement within a week. Dissatisfaction with local taxes and fees imposed by the Film Development Board also contributed to the nationwide theater shutdown following a call from the Film Associations of Nepal. Currently, out of 450 theaters in the country, only 150 are reported to be in operation, highlighting the broader challenges faced by the film industry.