Cinema owners face huge loss due to lockdown urging government to give permission to reopen before Dussehra

As cinemas are one of the sectors that have been hit hard due to the Coronavirus-induced lockdown, Theatre owners across northern and southern India have urged the government to allow them to reopen cinemas at least by the Dussehra weekend in October.

As cinemas are one of the sectors that have been hit hard due to the Coronavirus-induced lockdown, Theatre owners across northern and southern India have urged the government to allow them to reopen cinemas at least by the Dussehra weekend in October. Film trade members, cinema and multiplex owners have met the senior officials in the Ministry of Hoem Affairs, Ministry of Infirmation and Broadcasting to rais their concern and they have been assured that a response will be given within two days.

“We have requested the government to allow us to reopen cinemas with 50% capacity. Their main concern, as of now, is the seating of people in closed auditoriums where the virus spreads faster at a time when the number of cases is on the rise,” said Sunil N Narang, secretary of the Telangana Film Chamber of Commerce and managing director of Asian Cinema Theatres, according to Live Mint.

The theatre owners have faced huge loss as those were shut down for almost 6 months now and are desperate to make some improvements at least in the festival season. The loss amounts up to almost Rs.3,000 crore,12% of its movie screen count over the COVID-19 pandemic a

Amit Khare, Secretary, I&B ministry, had said at the Global AVGC Summit for the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) last week that reopening of cinemas was a priority for the government too and that SOPs (standard operating procedures) for cinemas were ready and were waiting for clearance by the home ministry.  Siddharth Roy Kapur, co-chairman, CII National Committee on media and entertainment, brought up the issues faced by the industry and expressed his disappointment over reopening permits not being given as part of unlocking guidelines for September when other sectors from malls to aviation, was given the permission to resume its operations

However, film trade and exhibition expert Girish Johar pointed out that, “Even if theatres did reopen, there is no content to play.”

Some Hollywood cinemas such as Christopher Nolan’s Tenet and the new James Bond film, No Time To Die, have both committed to theatrical release in India, dubbed in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, besides English, which is a relief.

 

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