Gyms open, but the show is not on in Lucknow’s multiplexes and single-screen halls
LUCKNOW Despite government orders allowing their reopening from Monday, multiplexes and single-screen cinema halls in Lucknow remained closed with managements saying that they were not prepared to resume operations. Some also cited non-availability of movies while a few said government guidelines were not clear. But in some cities like Kanpur, one or two single-screen cinemas did function.
On the other hand, gymnasiums remained open for fitness enthusiasts during the day.
“Multiplexes and single-screen cinemas were allowed to open after almost 64 days. But, we are not prepared yet as it needs a lot of manpower, availability of movies and other resources to run a multiplex. Also, the week for cinema halls and multiplexes starts from Friday to Thursday, hence we have decided to remain closed for another couple of days,” said Ashish Agarwal, president of UP Cinema Exhibitors’ Federation.
The closure of cinema halls was initiated on May 1, 2021 in wake of the second wave of Covid-19.
Lucknow has around nine multiplexes and 10 single-screen halls, but all remained closed.
Members of the UP Cinema Exhibitors’ Federation had also met chief minister Yogi Adityanath, seeking waiver of house tax, water tax and fixed electricity charges during lockdown. “We also approached the CM, who has assured us complete support and promised a waiver in fixed electricity charges, house tax and water tax,” said Agarwal.
However, this is not for the first time when multiplexes saw such a long closure. In 2020, the closure was initiated on March 15, in the wake of the first wave of the pandemic. Cinemas were allowed to reopen on October 15, with 50% gathering. The government eventually allowed multiplexes and single- screens to operate with full capacity on December 16, 2020.
Gyms in Lucknow resumed services on Monday, but the turnout was negligible. “We are open from today as per government orders. We are also taking all measures to keep people safe from infection,” said Abhishek Pratap Shahi, founder of The Crossover Gym, Kathauta Chauraha, Lucknow. He said footfall in the gym would go up gradually.