ANR, NTR, Krishna and Sobhan Babu had re-releases of their popular films until Slab system took over the market. Majority of theatres encouraged new releases to be able to sustain new rental system.
But there are films like Andala Ramudu that became huge successes in their second and third release. Dasarabullodu, Prem Nagar, Devadasu (1953), Mayabazaar, Gundamma Katha, Lava Kusa, Alluri Seetharamaraju, Pandanti Kapuram, Kalasi Unte Kaladu Sukham, Aatmabhandhuvu, Iddaru Mithrulu, Doctor Chakravarthy and many more had mutiple releases until 90's and some of them played in theatres for 100 days in re-releases too.
That culture is long gone now and even in remote rural areas, films open on the first day, mostly.
But in Tamil Nadu, for actor's birthdays there is a trend of screening their most crowd favourite films. In some areas, still there are theatres that only screen MGR or Sivaji films as a mark their respect to the legends.
Now, Rajni fans, Vijay fans, Ajith fans have started asking theatres to screen their favourite hero movies on their birthdays and theatres are also planning different films and asking fans to celebrate the day at their theaters with them.
They are arranging for cakes, separate places for celebratory DJs and even taking permission to host a party kind of outing in their premises for crowds who couldn't get tickets to enjoy the show.
This trend is catching up even in Kerala and Vijay fans have successfully enjoy their star's birthday with screening of Thuppakki, Kaththi kind of blockbusters. Ajith fans all over Tamil Nadu screened Viswasam, Vedalam, Mankatha and Billa, Amarkalam, Vaali in different areas.
Now, AMB a multiplex owned by Mahesh announced screening of Dookudu, biggest hit of Mahesh that announced his star status after Pokiri Industry hit and following debacles.
Fans responded by making the shows housefull two days before and the film shows could increase over the day and even the weekend as the response is very good. Looks like the Tamil trend will catch up here too.