On December 1, 2015, due to torrential rains, Chennai city went underwater with the heaviest rainfall in a century. Needless to say, the heavy rains and flooding have also ruined the Tamil film industry. Chennai is the heartland of Kollywood, where all studios and post-production work takes place.
Meanwhile, Kollywood stars were very active in helping the flood victims, including Siddharth, Kushboo, RJ Balaji, Dhanush, Karthi, Vishal, Jayam Ravi, Madhavan and few others. They even visited the affected places and provided people with basic amenities. Leading stars like Rajinikanth and Vijay opened their marriage halls to provide food and shelter for the homeless. Through his ‘Agaram’ foundation, Suriya helped many flood victims, while actor and director Raghava Lawrence donated Rs 1 Crore to flood relief.
Due to floods, many theatres in Chennai and suburbs closed down and only some multiplexes in the heart of Chennai city operated. The footfalls across screens were the lowest ever, with many screens having only one or two shows. Night shows stood cancelled.
The prestigious Sathyam Cinemas opened its properties in all its five locations to relief work. All its sites were opened up for the general public. Free food packets were given and people could also accesses clean water. The theatre opened up electrical units so that the public could charge their inverters and phones as well. Free tetanus shots were available for volunteers who took part in the relief operations.
A spokesperson of the multiplex chain said: “At the onset, we like to mention that we are only a small part of a much bigger effort. Our office is basically being used as a collection point and contact point for meeting requirements. Teams all over the city are coordinating with each other and helping each other out based on which areas they are in. We’ve been working with multiple other groups like Chennai Micro of actor Siddharth and RJ Balaji, Sunder Ramu who is part of Sam Paul’s team and various other individuals and NGO’s.”
Meanwhile Sivakarthikeyan’s biggie Rajini Murugan and Atharva Murali’s Eetti, which were scheduled to release on December 4 were postponed. The entire release pipeline has been stalled. Dhanush’s eagerly awaited Thangamagan, a sequel to his highly successful Velai Illa Pattadhari is scheduled for release on December 18. The big question being asked in the trade is – How long will it take for things to be back to normal?