The Government has announced a fresh set of guidelines for cinema theatres, allowing 100 per cent occupancy from Monday but with strict Covid 19 protocols.
Filmmakers and the trade alike welcome the move saying it brings relief and encouragement to the film industry, which has been one of the worst hit due to Covid lockdown.
All eyes are now on the several productions lined up, particularly Rohit Shetty'a Akshay Kumar-Katrina Kaif starrer "Sooryavanshi" and Kabir Khan's "83" starring Ranveer Singh.
"It's good news and everyone has been waiting for this. Theatrical revenue is a very big part of profit and cannot be ignored. Producers were getting offers to release films in theatres but they were not doing it because of the finances," said trade analyst Atul Mohan.
"What happened in South with ‘Master' and ‘Krack' has already encouraged producers and now they have enough reasons too," Mohan added.
Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar, who is shooting his upcoming film "India Lockdown", feels the government's announcement is good news that acts as encouragement for the film trade, especially when the southern film industry has already got the cash registers ringing with the recent releases "Master" and "Krack".
"I am happy to hear this. The southern film industry is already coming back on track with films released and slated to release. The footfall there has been encouraging, too. I know a lot of people are waiting to go and watch films in theatres and with the vaccine coming in, the confidence of people is also increasing to go out. The distributers and exhibitors are happy, and it certainly will help the entertainment industry slowly coming back on its feet," he says.
The key highlights of the new protocol are as follows:
Thermal screening of visitors/staff is to be carried out at entry points. Only asymptomatic individuals shall be allowed to enter the premises.
Provisions for hand sanitisation should be made available at all entry points and in work areas.
Designated queue markers shall be made available for entry and exit of the audience from the auditorium and the premises.
The exit should be done in a staggered row-wise manner to avoid crowding.
Sufficient time interval between successive screenings on a single screen as well as on various screens in a multiplex shall be provided to ensure row-wise staggered entry and exit of the audience.
Proper crowd management in the parking lots and outside the premises -- duly following physical distancing -- norms shall be ensured.
Number of people in the elevators shall be restricted, duly maintaining physical distancing norms.
Efforts shall be made to avoid overcrowding in the common areas, lobbies and washrooms during the intermission.
Audience may be encouraged to avoid movement during the intermission. Longer intermissions may be used to allow audience seated in different rows of the auditorium to move.