After almost seven months of remaining shut, cinema halls will finally reopen on October 15. The announcement was made as part of the Union Home Ministry’s Unlock 5.0 guidelines on Wednesday. Under this, theaters will be permitted to open outside containment zones with up to 50 per cent of their seating capacity. This has come as a welcome relief to exhibitors and theater owners.
Reacting to the news, film exhibitor Akshaye Rathi, who has a chain of cinemas across Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, told indianexpress.com, “I could cry right! This is such big news for us. Finally, after months of dejection, we got this. Of course, now individual states have to decide but finally, the ball has got rolling. There’s some beginning. We now wait for the I&B Ministry to lay out the guidelines.”
PVR Cinemas CEO Kamal Gianchandani wrote on Twitter, “Heartfelt gratitude to @HMOIndia @MIB_India for allowing cinemas to reopen October 15 onwards. Urge State Governments to allow reopening in their States, on urgent basis. Early opening will lead to a quick recovery from the dire economic impact of the epidemic.”
While producers are looking forward to films returning to cinema halls, Akshay Kumar on Thursday announced the wrap up of the shoot of Bellbottom. The movie had a start-to-finish schedule in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic. Akshay Kumar said, “It is teamwork and I am grateful to each and every member of the cast and crew from the spot dadas to the light dadas to the technicians to the make-up dadas to my lovely heroines Vaani, Lara, Huma, my director Ranjit and to Vashuji and the production team who believed in our audacious plan. The new normal has made us realise a different way of working that none of us could have imagined. I hope this encourages film industries globally to do what they do best and start entertaining audiences again. I hope our shoot during the pandemic reassures others that keeping all safety in mind, it’s time to get things moving again.”