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Monday, September 27, 2021

In Delhi, theatres get nod to reopen, but most decide to stay shut

Cinema halls in Delhi were shut down when the second Covid wave struck in mid-April and were allowed to reopen after about three months. Theatres, however, are being very cautious in their approach to open their doors to the public.

Written by Ektaa Malik | New Delhi |
Updated: July 27, 2021 10:54:55 am
Theatres screen Hollywood titles to lure audiences back as Delhi unlocksAt Delite cinema in Darya Ganj. (Express file photo by Abhinav Saha)

Even as a new order from the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) allowed for cinema halls to reopen from Monday at 50% capacity, theatres largely remained shut in the capital.

Cinema halls in Delhi were shut down when the second Covid wave struck in mid-April and were allowed to reopen after about three months.
Theatres, however, are being very cautious in their approach to open their doors to the public. “We are yet to receive any information as to when we will start operating in the capital. Maybe this Friday, if we have a new release,” shared an employee of PVR cinemas. PVR has more than 60 screens in the Delhi region.


Delite cinema in Darya Ganj, an iconic old theatre, is also being cautious. “We have made the requisite preparations. We have completely sanitised the space and made it fit for being operational at 50% capacity, but we will take a call later this week on when we will finally open our doors. There have been no new releases and we might end up showing an older release. We are just playing the waiting game for now. Maybe on Friday, we will have something concrete,” said Janmajeya Verma, from Delite Cinema.

Cinemas all over India faced huge losses as they were shut for a major part of last year due to the pandemic. Even when they were open and operating at 50% capacity, the public was yet to fully embrace the idea of watching a movie again in a theatre.

“We received a directive from the head office that we will only be operational by Friday. We are keen to welcome the audience back, and are taking strict precautions. Hopefully, on Friday, we will have something to screen,” said an employee of Inox cinemas, which has a multiplex in Nehru Place and a single-screen theatre in Jangpura, among others.

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