First day, old shows and cold response: Deserted look at Noida cinema hallsUpdated: Oct 16, 2020, 23:34 IST
Almost all cinema halls and multiplexes in Gautam Budh Nagar, which reopened after over seven months’ lockdown, wore deserted looks on Friday.
Among the Hindi movies screened were those that were already released, such as Malang, Tanhaji, Thappad and Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan.But only 50 tickets were sold at all prominent multiplexes in Noida and Greater Noida. English movies like My Spy and 1917 also were sparsely watched with not more than two and 26 seats booked, respectively. Several other movies had no viewers.
Earlier, the district administration had given permission to run the movies to seven multiplexes and three cinema halls.
Several managers said that while the response was not entirely unexpected, they plan to continue roll movies released before the lockdown till December at least.
Shamim Anwar of GIP Mall said that the cinema hall operators don’t have any alternative. “We will have to continue with the old movies till December as the next releases are slated for then. To ensure proper sanitization, we have laid anti-microbial film on all surfaces for the protection of viewers and staff,” he said.
Angad Makan of Logix Mall said that due to frequent sanitisation and chessboard seating, the cost of shows has increased for them. “Despite this, we have reduced the price of our tickets. Earlier, we used to screen five shows every day, but now it has been reduced to three shows as the sanitization of entire auditorium and food court areas have been made mandatory. We have also increased the interval time to 30 minutes, to ensure social distancing among the viewers,” he said.
Most of the visitors who watched movies in the theatres said that they had come to create a personal record of sorts -- to be among the first patrons after the lockdown.
Sanjana Singh, a BA student of Delhi University, came to watch Hrithik Roshan-starrer War in GIP Mall. “I was more interested in feeling the vibe of a cinema hall after seven months. I didn’t have any interest in the movie, but wanted to be the part of the first lot of cinema goers in the post-Covid period,” she said.
Deepika Sinha, a medical college student, came to wathc a movie at the Inox multiplex in sector Beta in Greater Noida. “I came to celebrate my friend’s birthday. The mall was the best place for get together and watching movie together in a chessboard sitting arrangement was fun. The auditorium had only five viewers and all of them were us,” she said.