Keerthi Fernando –
The film makers say that Sinhala cinema has been hit hard and that the number of active cinemas in the country has come down to 32 today.
They also say that the most popular cinemas all over the island have closed down and become supermarkets and other businesses.
The film makers also say that the Covid pandemic has caused Sinhala cinemas to close, with electronic channels showing unlimited number of movies throughout the day, which has a profound effect on cinemas.
They point out that by the 70‘s there were more than 400 cinemas in the country and only 32 of them remain today.
The highest grossing cinemas are Matara Broadway, Sarasavi Galle, Thusitha Deniyaya, Osaka Nittambuwa, Nilwala Akuressa, Seetha Pilimatalawa, Himali Hanwella, Himasa Hambantota, Samudra Ambalangoda, Ashoka Warakapola, Dhanasirika, Dhanasirika, Dhanasirika. Polgahawela Modern Kurunegala, New Cinema Kurunegala, Chandani Weligama, Regal Nuwara, Jeevan Panadura, Anusha Maharagama, Naomi Gampaha, Mekala Gampaha, Public Hall Gampaha, Odeon Mount Lavinia, Nivi Rashmi Ratnapura, Sri Devi Piliyandala, Chandra Avissawella, Imperial, Imperial Apsara Homagama, Priyangi Homagama, Samudra Wattala, Vijitha Ratmalana, Vilasani Wellampitiya, Royal Jayasiri Mattakkuliya, Rio Slave Street, Moviton Dalugama, Ridgeway Mahabage, Manel Dematagoda, Asoka Grant Pass, Saint Maradana , Trio Dehiwala, Lavinia Nugegoda, Queenland Nugegoda, Impala Rajagiriya, Sharmila Rajagiriya and many more. Filmmakers say many theaters have closed in the past few years.
The Sri Lankan film industry is now ranked 55th in the world and filmmakers say the government has a huge responsibility to promote Sinhala cinema in Sri Lanka.