The Maharashtra government has given permission to reopen cinema halls and multiplexes in the state outside containment zones, after an eight-month wait. Theatres have been allowed to reopen from Thursday, November 5 but on the condition of 50 per cent occupancy to ensure social distancing amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh made the announcement on his verified Twitter account on Wednesday evening.
He wrote: "BIGGG NEWS... Cinema halls / multiplexes in #Maharashtra given permission to reopen by the Government of #Maharashtra from tomorrow [5 Nov 2020]... With 50% of their seating capacity... #OfficialOrder dated 3 Nov 2020."
In a separate tweet he mentioned: "NOTE...Cinema halls / multiplexes to reopen outside containment zones. No eatables will be allowed inside cinema halls / multiplexes. #Maharashtra."
Reacting to the news, Siddharth Jain, Executive Director, Inox Group, expressed on his verified Twitter account: "On behalf of the entire cinema exhibition industry we would like to thank @OfficeofUT & @AmitV_Deshmukh Ji for allowing cinemas to operate in Maharashtra from 5th Nov. Looking forward to the big screens lighting up once again! #LightsCameraAction."
He tagged the office of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Amit Deshmukh, Minister for Culture in the state, in his tweet.
Filmmaker Sanjay Gupta tweeted from his verified account: "So finally theatres opening in Maharashtra from 5th November at 50% occupancy. WE HAVE TO BE SAFE. WE HAVE TO WEAR MASKS. WE HAVE TO KEEP SAFE DISTANCE."
Reacting to the development, film exhibitor Akshaye Rathi tweeted from his verified account: "Finally, the moment we have waited for! Cinemas in #Maharashtra are permitted to commence operations from tomorrow with 50% occupancy & detailed SOPs will be issued soon. A step towards the resurrection of the film exhibition sector. Thank you @OfficeofUT ji & @AmitV_Deshmukh ji."
In a separate tweet, he expressed: "However, eight months with no income & heavy expenses have left cinemas crippled. The state will need to work closely with the sector to formulate policies that can allow it to reinstate its relevance in #Maharashtra. Hoping for support from @OfficeofUT ji & @AmitV_Deshmukh ji."
Expressing his happiness, director Anil Sharma tweeted from his verified account: "BIGGEST NEWS FOR CINEGOERS OF MUMBAI Cinema in #Maharashtra will reopen from tomorrow that is 5 Nov 2020... With 50% of their seating capacity... #OfficialOrder by govt of #maharashtra ..dated 3 Nov 2020. But social distancing is must so keep distance n stay safe ..Enjoy movies."