Casino Theatre Aluva – Cinemas in many parts of the country reopened on Thursday after seven months, with some moviegoers warily going to watch movies in the era of ‘no-contact’ COVID-19 replacement seating, 50 percent capacity and packed lunches.
Photo: Audience members sit following social distancing norms at a Cineplex that reopened Thursday in Prayagraj after being closed for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: PTI photo
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While theaters and multiplexes remained closed in states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Chhattisgarh, many places, including Delhi and parts of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, reopened with strict adherence to the new normal.
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Deciding that India would be the first to close and open in the last zones as ‘open’, theater companies were optimistic from the very first step towards normalization.
Photo: Workers are busy making last minute preparations ahead of the opening of cinema halls in Kolkata on Thursday. Photo: Swapan Mahapatra/PTI Photo
But it’s quietly re-opening with few fans overcoming their COVID fears to come for a mix of regional and Indian iterations.
PVR, India’s largest movie exhibitor with 845 screens across 176 properties in 71 cities, said 10 states and four union territories have given their approval. According to this PVR started working on 487 screens.
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Photo: A worker puts Bengali movie posters on the walls before the opening of cinema halls in Kolkata on Thursday. Photo: Swapan Mahapatra/PTI Photo
While they started commercial screenings on Friday, other big players in the trade, Cinepolis and INOX, have started screening films from Thursday emphasizing safety measures including strict sanitation and social distancing.
PVR Limited Managing Director Sanjeev Bijli said that the next two weeks will be a test for the theater series but the cinema business will bounce back.
Photo: A young man was seen in the cinema hall that reopened in Bangalore on Thursday. Photo: PTI photo
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“By the time we get to November, before Diwali, we expect some big films to come out. Not that big yet.
, I believe it will be coming in time for Christmas, but we still have new releases
Photo: People bask in the sun as they arrive at a cinema after its opening on Thursday in Bengaluru. Photo: ANI Photo
Devang Sampath, CEO of Cinepolis India, said the company and its employees are excited to open their doors to the public.
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“As we know, the lockdown came suddenly and brought several challenges like finding a way to maintain good relations with team members and customers.
Photo: Corona fighters and their families watch a special screening of the film at PVR Cineplex inaugurated as part of Unlock 5 in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi on Thursday. Photo: Kamal Singh/PTI Photo
“Over time, we’ve developed robust processes and discovered that teams can communicate remotely and still maintain high levels of productivity,” he said.
“We are sure that the SOPs prescribed by the Ministry of I&B related to some of our interesting technology measures and concepts like special exhibitions will help us welcome your guests in our unique style,” he said.
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Image: Theaters and multiplexes have reopened in some parts of the country after being allowed to resume operations as per the guidelines issued under Unlock 5. Photo: Kamal Singh/PTI Photo
In the national capital, most movie theaters were closed and the few that reopened attracted very few audiences. Some of them appeared specifically for COVID-19 fighters or staff members and their families.
Photo: A worker cleans a booth inside the PVR Cineplex in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo: Kamal Singh/PTI Photo
SOPs mandated by the central government include one seat in halls, masks at all times, proper ventilation and air temperature settings above 23 degrees Celsius.
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Apart from mandatory temperature check, face mask and hand sanitisers, multiplexes have gone digital with e-tickets instead of traditional paper tickets, self-check-in with QR codes, hall and seat map sharing and online ordering. Food and drink.
, and crew members hailed the COVID-19 fighters and their families as they arrived to watch a special screening of the film at Naraina in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo: Manvender Vashist/PTI Photo
While the home ministry has allowed cinema and theater activities to resume under Unlock 5.0, it has left the final call to individual states.
As producers are eager to release new movies, new content takes a long time to hit the theaters as producers delay the release of major Bollywood movies.
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Photo: Workers of PVR Cineplex, wearing shields and face masks, greet Covid-19 fighters and their families as they arrive to watch a special screening of a film at Naraina in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo: Manvender Vashist/PTI Photo
Cine buffs who want to rewatch or watch missed movies on the big screen can enjoy Sushant Singh Rajput.
In Kolkata, theater owners look forward to the week of Durga Puja for the release of new Bengali films. It is expected to hit the screens between October 21-22.
Photo: A worker cleans inside the reopened PVR Cineplex as part of Unlock 5 in Naraina, New Delhi on Thursday. Photo: Manvender Vashist/PTI Photo
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Photo: Empty seats are seen during a movie at the City Gold cinema in Ahmedabad after the start of the coronavirus outbreak. Photo: Amit Dave / Reuters
SVF Cinemas, which has 13 multiplexes in Kolkata, will open its doors from Friday with all standard protocols, a spokesperson said.
In Puducherry, where only one theater is showing, one center in the city will resume screening in two theaters on Friday. Lack of new releases and closure of theaters in neighboring Tamil Nadu is also a reason.
In Andhra Pradesh, theaters remained closed on Friday even as movie screenings were closed to exhibitors due to various restrictions, primarily high operating costs.
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There are about 8,750 screens in India. Of these, 3, 100 are in multiplexes and 5, 650 single screens operate mostly in II, III and lower small towns.
Several states, including Delhi, Kerala and Maharashtra, have ordered closure of cinema halls from March 11 to March 16 till March 31, 2020.
Source: PTI – By: Hemant Waje © Copyright 2023 PTI. All rights reserved. Reproduction or redistribution of PTI’s content, including by framing or similar means, without prior written permission is expressly prohibited.
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