Multiplexes, cinemas prep to reopen in Bengal, 12 films due for release next week
Earlier on September 30, the Multiplex Association of India had issued a statement saying that the association welcomed the Centre’s decision allowing cinemas to reopen from October 15.Updated: Oct 14, 2020, 23:49 IST
Cinema halls and multiplexes in West Bengal are set to reopen from Thursday, while around a dozen Bengali films are waiting to be released next week just ahead of Durga Puja.
“Cinema halls will start reopening from Thursday, while most are planning to reopen from Friday. All protocols issued by the government will be followed,” said Piya Sengupta, president of the Eastern India Motion Pictures Association (EIMPA).
There are around 250 cinema halls and a few dozen multiplexes in West Bengal.
“Some cinema halls have chosen to reopen on Friday because films are usually released on that day. Even though no Bengali films are scheduled to be released this Friday, around a dozen Bengali films are scheduled to be released next week around October 21, just before the Durga Puja,” she added.
Earlier on September 30, the Multiplex Association of India had issued a statement saying that the association wholeheartedly welcomes the Centre’s decision allowing cinemas to reopen from October 15.
“While masks have been made mandatory, the halls will be sanitised after every show. Even though ticket counters will be open stress will be given on online ticket booking. Tickets for only 50% of the seating capacity would be sold and people will be screened with thermal guns,” Sengupta said.
Some cinema hall owners, however, said that it would take time for the halls to sell even 50% of the tickets as many people would be staying away from closed spaces.
“We don’t expect that we will be able to sell all tickets (50% of the seating capacity) from the day halls reopen. It will take time. But we are taking all precautions as laid down by the government,” said a spokesperson of one of the multiplex chains.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had on Tuesday announced that during Durga Puja cultural events could be organised in open spaces or in halls if all health protocols were followed.
“We have allowed gatherings of 100 people if all Covid-19 protocols are followed. If you get bigger spaces, you can also allow gathering of 200 people but do not organise such programmes near Puja pandals,” she said while addressing an event.