Giving the entertainment industry a shot in the arm, Indian government has allowed cinema halls to functions in full capacity, starting February 1, Monday. In a fresh set of guidelines that the ministry of home affairs issued late Saturday, theaters may now operate with 100% capacity.
Exhibitors and distributors are all happy and have welcomed the decision.
After remaining shut down for around three months, theaters were allowed to reopen on October 15, 2020, with 50% occupancy. However, not many films have released in theatres so far. A few small-budget films have released, including Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi, Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari, Shakeela, Madam Chief Minister, and Indoo Ki Jawani. Major big-budget films have avoided hitting theater, in wake of the pandemic has restricted the footfall in theatres.
With some big ticket films lined up for release later this year, theater owners may hope for a revamp in the industry. Salman Khan’s Radhe – Your Most Wanted Bhai, John Abraham’s Satyameva Jayate 2 are scheduled for an Eid release while Ajay Devgn’s Maidaan will hit theaters on October 15, marking the Dussehra holiday. Shahid Kapoor’s Jersey will also be out release on Diwali
A look at guidelines to be followed to avoid infection:
Meanwhile, Hindi movie buffs await the release dates for Ranveer Singh’s 83“, Akshay Kumar’s Sooryavanshi and Prithviraj, Ranbir Kapoor’s Shamshera and Brahmāstra. and Aamir Khan’s Laal Singh Chaddha.
Distributor Akshaye Rathi responds saying, “100% capacity permitted in cinema halls from 1st February! Hope this can open the floodgates for films to announce their release dates & bring audiences back to cinemas in massive numbers!”
He also addresses producers and adds, “A good news has come our industry’s way after very long. Let’s not allow the excitement to fizzle out & start announcing release dates for our tentpole films! We need to fight this battle together, not against each other!”
Film exhibitor Vishek Chauhan also cheered the move. “(This is) Another step towards normalcy. We were down, we saw our obituaries written. People used our turf to gain market share during a pandemic. Many Cinemas closed down. I bow down in all humility to the folks who stuck on. I say this respectfully, if we can survive this we can survive anything!”