Govt Allows Cinema Halls To Open From Oct 15th: But There Is A Catch (Reopening Rules)
Since March 23rd, all cinema halls and multiplexes are closed in India, as part of the lockdown measures to stop coronavirus infections.
But now, this is going to change.
Under new reopening rules, Govt has allowed cinema halls to be opened, albeit, there is a catch here.
The final word stays with State Govt.
Cinemas To Be Opened From October 15th
In a big relief to the entertainment industry, Govt has finally allowed mutiplexes and cinemas to be opened from October 15th.
Only 50% occupancy has been allowed, and maximum 200 people can watch a movie at any given time.
Sanitizers and social distancing norms will be imposed across all cinema halls.
As per the new guidelines issued under Unlock 5.0, Govt said, “Cinemas/theatres/multiplexes will be permitted to open with up to 50% of their seating capacity, for which, SOP will be issued by I&B Ministry.”
Standard Operating Procedures or SOPs will be later issued by Information and Broadcasting Ministry, which has to be followed by all the cinema theaters and multiplexes.
What New Rules Can Be Expected At Cinema Halls?
- The seatings will be alternate, that is, no two people will be allowed to sit together in the audi
- Sanitizers and masks will be mandatory to enter
- Restrooms will be 50% occupied at any given time, just like malls
- Intervals will be longer
- Snacks, food may not be sold at all, or only those will be sold which are packaged.
- No cash will be transacted, and only digital transactions will be allowed
- Cinema halls inside containment zones are not allowed, as of now, as per the current rules
These are only speculations, and not confirmed. I&B Ministry is working on the SOPs, and the theater owners will be notified soon.
But.. The Final Decision Rests With State Govt.
However, the final call to open cinema halls and theaters rest with the State Govt.
Multiplexes and cinemas will be only opened once State Govt feels that the reopning will not impact the case load, and infections will not rise.
For example, West Bengal has already reopened cinema halls, but Maharashtra has extended the lockdown till Oct 31st, and we are not aware whether multiplexes will be allowed to be opened or not.
The Multiplex Association of India said, “Millions of movie lovers, employees of the cinema exhibition sector, along with the entire film industry were eagerly awaiting this announcement. We are committed to ensure a safe, secure and a hygienic cinema going experience for the movie lovers of our country, as always, we would continue to assign top-most priority to the health and well-being of our guests and employees,”
We will keep you updated, as more details come in.