The Multiplex Association of India (MAI) on Wednesday “wholeheartedly” welcomed the Union Home Ministry’s guidelines which permit the opening up of cinema halls outside the containment zones from October 15.
MAI Statement on Unlock 5.0 Notification issued by Ministry of Home Affairs. pic.twitter.com/asl6QdB7xe
— Multiplex Association Of India (@MAofIndia) September 30, 2020
Cinema halls across the country had been shut after a lockdown was imposed from March 25 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The ministry said activities permitted from October 15 include cinemas, theatres, and multiplexes that can open with up to 50 per cent of their seating capacity, for which the SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The buzz about the reopening of theatres has been gathering pace for a few weeks now after repeated representations by multiplex and single-screen operators to the government. In a statement, the Multiplex Association of India (MAI) said that the film exhibition industry was losing Rs 1,500 crore a month due to the closure of cinema halls.
Since its reopening on October 15, the theater is selling tickets for up to 50% of the capacity of each auditorium. Moviegoers are instructed to obey six feet of social distance when they choose their seats, and they’re required to wear masks except when eating or drinking.
How are multiplex owners planning to ensure the utmost safety for viewers?
- Movie-goers would be encouraged to pre-book their tickets and meals, wear masks when watching films, and maintain strict lane discipline when entering and exiting movie halls.
- Customers can purchase both tickets and concessions online, eliminating any personal contact while entering the theater.
- Showtimes are staggered by at least 15 minutes to eliminate crowding in the lobby. And seats where patrons sit — flagged by a ticket left in each cupholder — are sanitized after every screening.
- The sale of movie tickets, foods, and beverages will be made online (or with the help of an app) to ensure contact-less purchase and delivery. This is done to encourage contact-less and paperless payments.
- Deep cleaning of the theatres is recommended between screenings to ensure the hygiene and safety of the customers entering the cinema halls.
- Touch-free antibacterial gel stations (sanitizers), plastic gloves, and garbage bins (to discard used tissues, gloves, and masks) to be made available across all cinema halls.
- All customers will be asked to follow the demarcated circles at all cinema halls to ensure social distancing measures.
- Viewers and employees will be asked to install the Arogya Setu app and log in and monitor their symptoms over the app.
We're preparing to welcome you back in the safest way possible so that you can enjoy movies without any worries.
— P V R C i n e m a s (@_PVRCinemas) June 23, 2020
“We are committed to ensuring a safe, secure and hygienic cinema-going experience for the movie lovers of our country, as always, we would continue to assign top-most priority to the health and well-being of our guests and employees,” the association said.
While movie theatres are ready to welcome you, one should follow all the guidelines issued by the government and stay safe with a healthy cinema experience.