Film theatres began to be established in Karnataka during the silent era of film making itself. In the 1920s, Bangalore was the hub of silent film production in India. Theatres built for plays also doubled up as film theatres. After the talkie era began, many theatres which used to stage plays permanently turned into film theatres. Gubbi Veeranna was making films even in the silent era and to his credit goes establishing play and film theatres in that age. Over the decades there were nearly 1,500 film theatres in Karnataka. It stabilised to 1,200 screens. But in last two decades, it has reduced to about 650 theatres.
Even in this bleak scenario many exhibitors have continued to show only Kannada films. The Moti talkies in Davangere was started in 1946. Its owners B Loob Chand And Brothers and D Kapoor Chand And Brothers have exhibited only Kannada films all these decades. Another such theatre exhibiting only Kannada films is Sharada talkies in Koppal. The theatre, run by Siddalingappa, has a record of screening 700 Kannada films so far.
There are many other theatres whose encouragement to Kannada films is unparalleled. These include Sanjaya talkies in Mandya, Nirmal Santosh theatre in Belgaum and Santosh in Gulbarga.