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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Reopening of cinema halls: State-wise status

While several multiplex and cinema hall operators are still awaiting the nod from the respective state governments to resume operations, here's a look at the states where theatres reopened on October 15.

Written by Mimansa Shekhar | New Delhi | Updated: October 15, 2020 6:23:17 pm
cinema halls reopeningInformation and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar announced the SOPs last week. (Express archives photo)

Bollywood film Khaali Peeli, Tamil film Ka Pae Ranasingam and Hollywood movies My Spy, Force of Nature and The Rental are set to become the first films to have a theatrical release with the reopening of cinema halls in some states on October 15 post the coronavirus-induced lockdown. This comes days after the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) under its Unlock 5.0 guidelines.

The SOPs that were announced by Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar last week include permitting theaters to open outside containment zones with up to 50 per cent of their seating capacity, one seat distance, compulsory masks at all time, proper ventilation and air conditioner temperature settings at above 23 degrees Celsius, among others.

The decision comes after cinema halls remained shut for nearly seven months. The reopening has been welcomed by theatre owners and exhibitors. However, amid the rigorous dos and don’ts, the central government has left the states to take a final call in this regard.

While several multiplex and cinema hall operators are still awaiting the nod from the respective state governments to resume operations, here’s a look at the states where theatres reopened on October 15.

Delhi

The Delhi government has permitted reopening of cinemas halls with up to 50 per cent of their seating capacity from October 15. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal informed via a tweet that all cinema halls will have to abide by the guidelines issued by the central government.

Uttar Pradesh

The Uttar Pradesh government has allowed cinema halls and multiplexes to resume operations with 50 per cent capacity from October 15.

Himachal Pradesh

The Himachal Pradesh government has allowed cinema halls and multiplexes to resume operations with 50 per cent capacity from October 15.

Jammu and Kashmir

The J&K government has allowed cinema halls and multiplexes to resume operations from October 15. Addressing a press conference, the disaster management secretary Simrandeep Singh said the administration has permitted opening of cinema halls, theatres, multiplexes, swimming pools, bars in restaurants/hotels, entertainment parks and coaching centres from October 15 with 50 per cent capacity.

Haryana

The Haryana government has allowed cinema halls and multiplexes to resume operations with 50 per cent capacity from October 15.

Punjab

The Punjab government has allowed cinema halls and multiplexes to resume operations with 50 per cent capacity from October 15.

Gujarat

The Gujarat government has allowed cinema halls and multiplexes to resume operations with 50 per cent capacity from October 15.

Northeast States

The cinema halls in the Northeast will not open on Thursday as the states have not issued any guidelines in this regard even though the Centre has permitted movie screenings. Cinema halls, distributors and content providers said that movie buffs will have to wait for some more days to visit the theatres as the official notifications are yet to be issued by the states in the region.

Bihar

The Bihar government has allowed cinema halls and multiplexes to resume operations with 50 per cent capacity from October 15.

Goa

Even as the Goa government has allowed re-opening of cinema halls from Thursday as per the Centre’s guidelines, theatre owners in the state have said the facilities will not open until new films release. “Theatres in Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Delhi are yet to reopen. Till new movies release, we are not going to open theatres,” BJP MLA and All Goa Theatre Owners Association president Pravin Zantye told PTI.

Chhattisgarh

The Chhattisgarh government has not yet taken a call on allowing reopening of cinema halls and multiplexes in the state. “On Tuesday, the state government had issued SOPs for holding social, sports, cultural, religious, political and entertainment events in closed and open spaces. However, as of now, no such permission has been issued for operation of movie theatres,” a senior government official told PTI.

Uttarakhand

The Uttarakhand government has allowed cinema halls and multiplexes to resume operations with 50 per cent capacity from October 15.

Chandigarh

Manoj Parida, adviser to the Chandigarh Administrator, said that cinemas will reopen from October 15 following the guidelines of Centre on Unlock 5 which permits reopening of cinemas, theatres/multiplexes with 50 per cent capacity.

West Bengal

Only a few multiplexes and cinema halls in West Bengal reopened for movie-goers on Thursday after nearly a seven-month hiatus. Authorities of the cinemas said they are strictly maintaining the COVID-19 protocol. Other facilities will reopen gradually from Friday till October 21, a day before the commencement of the Durga Puja festivities.

Karnataka

The Karnataka government has allowed cinema halls and multiplexes to resume operations with 50 per cent capacity from October 15. However, most theatres in Bengaluru did not open for public on Thursday and preferred to wait for a day in anticipation of the weekend crowd on Friday.

Puducherry

Most cinema theatres in Puducherry did not resume screening on Thursday despite the Centre permitting them to reopen to half capacity under Unlock 5.0. A theatre owner told PTI that only one theatre was running the show on Thursday while a mall would resume screening in two of its theatres on Friday. He said want of movies to be screened is the main reason for theatres not being able to resume and the closure of cinema halls in neighbouring Tamil Nadu was also another reason.

Maharashtra

The Maharashtra government has not allowed cinema halls to reopen until October 31. The state Cultural Affairs Minister Amit Deshmukh tweeted that the government was positive about reopening cinema halls and theatres, but its priority was to ensure the safety of residents amid the pandemic. He added, “Dussehra, Diwali, Christmas are the time when people make a beeline for theatres and cinema halls. This is a good time to restart them. The government is thinking how to reopen them as people’s health and safety is paramount.”

Rajasthan

The Rajasthan government recently announced keeping all recreational public places shut till October 31. All social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions, and other large congregations will not be permitted till month-end. “Swimming pools, cinema halls, theatres, multiplexes, entertainment parks and similar places will remain closed for activities till October 31,” the state guidelines said.

Odisha

According to an Odisha government order, all cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment complexes, theatres, auditoriums, assembly halls and other similar places of mass gatherings would continue to be shut till October 31. It further said that open-air theatres and similar places would be allowed to open subject to mandatory protocols like wearing of face masks and physical distancing.

Andhra Pradesh

Cinema halls and multiplex screens remained shut in Andhra Pradesh. Film exhibitors made it clear that they could not resume shows given the various constraints, primarily the steep maintenance costs. Besides the financial burden, the other major issue that is deterring exhibitors from resuming business is the lack of new movies for screening.

Kerala

No directive yet from the state government on reopening of cinema halls and multiplexes.

Tamil Nadu

No directive yet from the state government on reopening of cinema halls and multiplexes.

Telangana

No directive yet from the state government on reopening of cinema halls and multiplexes.

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