Though Tollywood boasts of producing the maximum number of films per year in any language in the world, 99% of nearly 2,500 theatres in Andhra Pradesh are unsafe as they do not have fire safety and fighting equipment in the halls as per mandatory norms. Many of these theatres lack minimum facilities.
Two years ago, the fire and emergency services department had conducted a survey pertaining to fire safety and fighting equipment in the cinema theatres in the state. The survey revealed that of the 2,160 cinema halls in the state, 99% are not safe as they do not comply with the rules.
Normally, the license to the cinema halls is given by the police department in the cities and district collectors in the rural areas, the fire services department enforce compliance of all the fire fighting equipment including electrical wiring in the theatres.
Except 16 theatres, no theatre management has taken a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the fire services department which is mandatory. No cinema hall had mandatory fire fighting systems as per AP Cinema (Regulations) Rules, 1970, and National Building Code.
Out of 160 theatres in Hyderabad, only 10 have taken NOC which are considered to be fully safe which include the multiplexes.