The ministry of home affairs (MHA) issued the guidelines for unlock 5 this Wednesday. These guidelines permit the reopening of cinema halls with few more flexibilities from 15th October. We all know that a complete lockdown in the wake of the COVID – 19 pandemics was first imposed on March 24. Over the past seven months with many economic activities, considerable relaxation has given.
Cinema halls have been a great part of our lives for a long time. In addition, it’s almost everyone’s one of the most lovable places. This then crowded place was on pause because of this lockdown since march. But reopening in unlock 5 has come up as great news. Although it won’t be that easy obviously. Still, everything is getting back to the track after a long time of pause. Hence, the reopening of cinema halls is permitted (with some restrictions). Of course, like only up to 50% occupancy will be allowed in cinema halls. Above all, the areas that fall outside contaminated zones are permitted.
THE NEW NORMAL
In closed space, however, a maximum of 50% of the hall’s capacity will be allowed with a ceiling of 200 people. Wearing of masks, maintaining social distance will be mandatory. Adjacent seats will be left empty to maintain social distancing. While, family members, couples, and groups will be seated together, the seating arrangement will ensure that the seat next to them is left empty to keep people from different households away from each other.
The provision for thermal scanning will be ensured. Temperature checks will be ensured through body temperature detectors. Sanitization will be done after every show. With all these various restrictions, it’s going to be one of the great news as it’s a way to escape from this long-run race of life for a while at least. And people have been missing and waiting for this relaxation.
LOSS AND CHANGES DURING LOCKDOWN
The theatrical market in India has experienced the loss of almost Rs. 3,000 crore in six months. Of these, Bollywood accounts for around Rs. 2,000 crore. The country has already lost 12% of its movie screen count over the COVID-19 pandemic. Cinema halls have been one of the first to shut and last to reopen as a result of the pandemic. It makes it important to re-open as soon as possible so that no more loss is faced.
However, the challenges remain the same. As the pandemic has not been over yet, it will need a lot of preparation for the reopening. After ensuring the protocols, the individual state approval is required too. As cinema is a state subject, it remains to be seen whether all states will permit reopening or not. Only after the approval of the central government, it will get clear that when and where the cinema halls are going to be re-open.
Although to not let people miss the connection with the film industries, many films have already been acquired by OTT platforms. Movies have been releasing on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney + Hotstar. This came out to be a great way for the people to stay connected to their movie craze. Otherwise, this lockdown would have been so difficult to survive inside the home without any entertainment.
THE LONG AWAITED
Millions of more lovers, workers of cinema sectors, along with the entire film industry were eagerly waiting for this announcement. After all, the pleasure of watching movies in Movie theaters is far more enjoyable than that of watching at home in the OTT platforms. And of course, OTT platforms can’t take the place of Cinema Halls. Just to not let our entertainment interrupt, OTT platforms have come up as a substitution.
In a statement, it is said that they are committed to ensuring the safety, security, and hygiene cinema-going experience for the movie lovers of the country.
As always they are going to keep the health and well-being of the guests and employees as their top-most priority.
AUTHOR – SUBHASMITA NAYAK
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