Theatres get ready to abide by govt SOPs but no new movies, at least for now

By: PTI | New Delhi/mumbai |

October 6, 2020 8:39:16 pm

Given the intense warning, there’s unlikely to be any recent content material within the subsequent few months, trade insiders indicated. No one needs to take an opportunity. (Express picture by Abhinav Saha)

The authorities has given its inexperienced sign for cinemas to reopen in a new COVID-19 regular outlined by rigorous dos and don’ts and theatre house owners are getting ready too, but it might be some time earlier than audiences get to see a new film.
On Tuesday, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar introduced the usual working procedures (SOPs) that cinema halls should put in place earlier than they open on October 15 after seven months of being closed.

The SOPs embrace one seat distance in theatres, 50 per cent capability, masks at all time, correct air flow and air conditioner temperature settings at above 23 levels Celsius.

“Cinema halls have been shut for the last seven months. They are now opening from October 15. For the safety of people, we have come out with SOPs to be followed,” Javadekar advised reporters.

It was excellent news for multiplex and theatre house owners who’ve lengthy maintained that it was time for the curtains to go up and in addition for film aficionados lacking their massive display expertise. But the wariness continued. Was it secure? How many individuals would truly courageous the specter of COVID-19? What about the associated fee issue concerned in getting theatres ready for the corona period?

Given the intense warning, there’s unlikely to be any recent content material within the subsequent few months, trade insiders indicated. No one needs to take an opportunity.

Sibashish Sarkar, Reliance Entertainment Group CEO, stated reopening of cinemas is a optimistic signal for the trade but screening new releases will probably be tough.

“We are not releasing any film on Diwali (on November 14)… It is not possible to release a film on Diwali now. As of now, all cinema houses are not opening from October 15. Even if it opens on November 1, how can you release a film in a 10 or 15-day notice period?” he requested.

Also Read | Face masks, sharing contact info for tracing, only half seats occupied: I&B Ministry’s SOPs for cinema halls

Films comparable to Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif starrer Sooryavanshi and Ranveer Singh’s 83 which might be full and ready for launch received’t be seen on the massive display anytime quickly.

While many movies moved to OTT platforms in the course of the lockdown that began in March, the a lot awaited Sooryavanshi and 83 didn’t.

Sooryavanshi, which was scheduled to launch on March 24, only a day earlier than the lockdown got here into impact, was supposed to hit the screens on Diwali.

“We are not sure whether we will change both Sooryavanshi or 83 or we will just shift one film… It is clear… from December to March is the realistic timeline,” Sarkar advised PTI.

In truth, some cinemas will display outdated content material even after they open.

Raj Bansal, a multiplex proprietor from Jaipur, stated the distribution and exhibition sector has been ready since August for theatres to open but his personal theatre will stick to outdated fare.

“We have 15 days to plan things. We have software for a few Dhoom series, Golmaal, Munnabhai…, Hera Pheri and some small films that are ready to be released in theatres, ” Bansal advised PTI.

He stated the price of working cinemas will go up by at least 10 per cent because the premises will want to be sanitised frequently.

Cinepolis India CEO Devang Sampat is evident that cinema halls can’t get again to common enterprise until there’s recent content material.

He stated they’ve applied stringent security protocols according to world finest practices and are ready to welcome patrons again to a secure and safe, world class film expertise.

Also Read | Explained: Cinema halls to open from October 15, these are the new rules, SOPs

“We request the state governments to provide clearance for cinemas to open in their respective states,” he added.

T-Series president Vinod Bhanushali added that it’s thrilling to have cinemas make a comeback after months of uncertainty.

In Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, theatres would possibly open by November or pre-Diwali and the corporate is getting movies ready for a theatrical launch. The firm has movies comparable to “Indoo Ki Jawani” and the but untitled biopic on badminton ace Saina Nehwal.

“We will be happy if our films that are to be released on OTT will come in theatres. However, this decision is between OTT and exhibitors and distributors,” Bhanushali advised PTI.

“We believe stars or superstars are made or born in theatres. The fun of watching films is on the large screen,” Bhanushali advised PTI.

Producer Boney Kapoor stated it should take a few weeks for the viewers to get used to coming to theatres.

“Footfalls will increase gradually. Hopefully by Diwali, we should have a better understanding or how good the situation is. We will think of the release once we complete the shoot of our films. We are praying footfalls in theatres show positive signs,” Kapoor advised PTI.

Film exhibitor Akshay Rathi, who has cinema homes in Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, stated the viewers will need a secure and safe atmosphere and all SOPs could be applied.

“We will ensure the best of movies are released in theatres for audiences to come in big numbers. For this producers, exhibitors and distributors will have to work together to rebuild the movie-going habit,” Rathi advised PTI.

Theatres throughout the nation had to shut their doorways in March due to the coronavirus-led lockdown. As the federal government began easing different companies, theatre chains stated they need to be allowed to resume companies as they have been already dealing with losses to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore.

“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 topmost priority to the health and well-being of our guests and employees,” stated PVR Cinemas CEO Gautam Dutta.

“We look forward to welcoming back moviegoers to a safe and an amazing brand new experience at our cinemas,” he added.

INOX Leisure CEO Alok Tandon can also be hopeful of a turnaround within the trade.

“We are completely geared up and prepared for the new normal, which would assign topmost priority to safety and hygiene,” Tandon stated.

Betting on the distinctive cinema tradition of the nation, Tandon stated the announcement will assist content material producers chart a plan for their launch.

“India’s unique cinema culture is something which makes us feel proud and optimistic at the same time. There is a huge amount of emotional, cultural and creative hunger prevailing in the country, which can now be satisfied with cinemas to a large extent. We know that the masses are yearning to step out and enjoy their favourite form of entertainment.”

In its unlock pointers issued on September 30, the Ministry of Home Affairs had allowed the reopening of cinema halls from October 15.

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