News: Theatres In India Opening With High Safety
Cinemas have reopened in India after a seven-month-long break forced by Covid-19. But with barely any new films being made and the pandemic still raging, lockdown losses will haunt its comeback.
“Cinemas have got the brunt. We were the first to shut down and we will be the last to reopen,” Alok Tandon, the CEO of multiplex chain Inox. Many of India’s nearly 10,000 cinema halls closed in March, just as coronavirus cases had started to appear and even before the government imposed a lockdown.
India continues to reopen, despite having the second-highest caseload in the world.
But watching a movie in a cinema won’t be the same, at least in the foreseeable future. There will be no eager crowds or long queues at the ticket counter as social distancing is enforced. Names and phone numbers will be collected at the entrance for contact tracing. And no hall will run full as seating is capped at 50%. Even popcorn will be sterilised under UV rays for eight minutes , reported local media.
But the biggest blow is the lack of new material – for months, cinemas watched helplessly from the sidelines as streaming platforms snapped up Bollywood movies that were willing to opt for an online release. This leaves cinemas with no option but to re-release older titles, including those from 2018.
The problem, according to film critic Saibal Chatterjee, starts there. “People aren’t dying to go back and watch old films – why would we spend our money and take a risk? Who would go with their family and potentially expose them?”
But studios remain reluctant to let go of new films just yet. “It’s a vicious circle – people won’t come unless a big blockbuster release, but producers won’t release a big movie unless people come,” Komal Nahta, a film and trade analyst says.
Compiled by – MK (Editor)
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Theatres In India Opening With High Safety