Theaters are ready to reopen. Only problem

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An Akshay Kumar alembic Sooryavanshi. (Courtesy: YouTube)

Highlight

  • SOPs include a seat distance in cinemas, 50% capacity
  • It also includes adequate ventilation, air conditioning temperature settings.
  • Theaters will reopen on October 15

New Delhi:

The government has given its green signal for cinemas to reopen on a new normal COVID-19 defined by rigorous pros and cons, and theater owners are also preparing, but it may be a while before audiences can see a movie. new movie. On Tuesday, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar announced the standard operating procedures (SOPs) that movie theaters must implement before they open on October 15 after seven months of being closed. SOPs include a seat distance in cinemas, 50 percent capacity, masks at all times, adequate ventilation, and air conditioning temperature settings above 23 degrees Celsius. “Movie theaters have been closed for the past seven months. Now they will open from October 15. For the safety of the people, we have presented SOPs to follow,” Javadekar told reporters.

It was good news for movie theater and multiplex theater owners, who long argued that it was time for the curtains to be raised, and also for moviegoers who were missing out on the big screen experience. But the caution persisted. Was it safe? How many people would actually face the threat of COVID-19? What about the cost factor involved in preparing theaters for the crown age? Given the extreme caution, new content is unlikely in the coming months, industry experts say. Nobody wants to risk it.

Sibashish Sarkar, CEO of Reliance Entertainment Group, said the reopening of theaters is a positive sign for the industry, but that screening new releases will be difficult. “We are not releasing any movies about Diwali (on November 14) … It is not possible to release a movie about Diwali right now. From now on, all theaters will not open from October 15. Even if they open on Nov. 1, how can you release a movie on a 10 or 15 day notice period? “He asked.

Movies like Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif starring Sooryavanshi and Ranveer Singh’s 83 that are complete and ready for release will not be seen on the big screen any time soon. While many movies were moved to OTT platforms during the lockdown that began in March, the long-awaited Sooryavanshi Y 83 Not. Sooryavanshi, which was scheduled to launch on March 24, just a day before the lockdown went into effect, was supposed to hit Diwali screens. “We are not sure if we will change both Sooryavanshi or 83 or we’ll just change a movie … It’s clear … December to March is the realistic timeline, “Sarkar told PTI. In fact, some theaters will show old content even when open.

Raj Bansal, a multiplex theater owner in Jaipur, said the distribution and exhibition sector has been waiting since August for cinemas to open, but his own theater will stick to the old rate. “We have 15 days to plan things. We have software for some Dhoom Serie, Golmaal, Munnabhai …, Hera pheri and some small movies that are ready to be released in theaters, “Bansal told PTI. He said the cost of running the theaters will increase by at least 10 percent as facilities will need to be disinfected regularly. The CEO of Cinepolis India, Devang Sampat, It is clear that movie theaters cannot go back to their normal activities unless there is new content. Said they have implemented strict security protocols in line with global best practices and are ready to welcome customers to a safe and world-class movie experience. “We are asking state governments to provide authorization for theaters to open in their respective states.”

T-Series President Vinod Bhanushali added that it is exciting that theaters are returning after months of uncertainty. In Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, cinemas could open in November or before Diwali and the company is preparing the films for theatrical release. The company has such movies as “Indoo Ki Jawani” and the as-yet untitled biopic about badminton ace Saina Nehwal. “We will be happy if our films that will be released on OTT will reach theaters. However, this decision is between OTT and the exhibitors and distributors,” Bhanushali told PTI. “We believe that stars or superstars are made or born in theaters. The fun of watching movies is on the big screen,” Bhanushali told PTI.

Producer Boney Kapoor said it will take audiences a couple of weeks to get used to going to theaters. “The footprints will gradually increase. Hopefully for Diwali, we should have a better understanding of how good the situation is. We will think about the release once we finish shooting our films. We are praying that the footprints in theaters show positive signs.” , Kapoor told PTI. Film exhibitor Akshay Rathi, which has movie theaters in Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, said the public will want a safe and secure environment and that all standard operating procedures will be implemented. “We will ensure that the best films are released in theaters so that audiences come in large numbers. For this, producers, exhibitors and distributors will have to work together to rebuild the habit of going to the movies,” Rathi told PTI.

Cinemas across the country had to close their doors in March due to the closure caused by the coronavirus. As the government began to relax other businesses, the cinema chains said they should be allowed to resume services as they were already facing losses to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore. “We are committed to ensuring a safe, secure and hygienic movie experience for our nation’s moviegoers. As always, we will continue to place the highest priority on the health and well-being of our guests and employees,” PVR said. Gautam Dutta, Executive Director of Cinemas. “We look forward to welcoming viewers to a safe and amazing new experience in our cinemas,” he added.

INOX Leisure CEO Alok Tandon is also hopeful for a sea change in the industry. “We are fully prepared and ready for the new normal, which would place the highest priority on safety and hygiene,” Tandon said. Betting on the country’s unique film culture, Tandon said the ad will help content producers map out a plan for its release. “India’s unique film culture is something that makes us proud and optimistic at the same time. There is a great deal of emotional, cultural and creative hunger that prevails in the country, which can now be largely satisfied by cinemas. We know that the masses yearn to go out and enjoy their favorite form of entertainment. ” In its unlocking guidelines issued on September 30, the Interior Ministry had allowed the reopening of movie theaters as of October 15.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by GossipMantri staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)

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