Delhi government allows cinemas to reopen from 15 October1 min read . Updated: 07 Oct 2020, 08:59 PM IST
- The ministry of information and broadcasting had floated SOPs for cinemas which included adequate physical distancing of at least six feet
- Occupancy in cinemas should not be more than 50% of their total seating capacity and seats
NEW DELHI : The Delhi government has allowed movie theatres to reopen from 15 October after initially holding back when the ministry of home affairs had granted permits last week. This should come as a huge relief to the film business and particularly, theatre owners for whom Delhi and Maharashtra together comprise nearly 50% of the box office in case of many films.
“Cinemas will be allowed to reopen in Delhi from 15 October. They will have to follow all the guidelines laid out by the central government," chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Wednesday along with announcing reopening permits for weekly markets.
Earlier this week, the ministry of information and broadcasting had floated SOPs for cinemas which included adequate physical distancing of at least six feet to be followed outside auditoriums, use of face covers or masks to be made mandatory at all times, availability of hand sanitizers, at entry and exit points and installation of the Aarogya Setu app.
Occupancy in cinemas should not be more than 50% of their total seating capacity and seats that are not to be occupied shall be marked as such during booking, among other guidelines.
Independent film exhibitor Akshaye Rathi responded to Kejriwal’s tweet saying the entire film exhibition business is thankful to him for the step.
“This is definitely a welcome move and shows that the government is truly serious about bringing the film business back on to its feet. Delhi is the second most critical movie market in the country," film trade and exhibition expert Girish Johar said adding that only the big Maharashtra territory remains now. But the reopening of Delhi will encourage producers to start scheduling their films for theatrical release.