After a gap of seven months, cinema halls and multiplexes will reopen in several parts of the country today with 50 percent capacity and seats will be marked 'not to be occupied' for ensuring physical distancing to combat COVID-19.
Cinema hall owners in cities like Ghaziabad, Gurugram, Chennai and Delhi have ensured the safety of their customers by enforcing the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines that include sanitisation of the halls, social distancing, paperless tickets, and theatres limited to 50 percent occupancy at a time.
Speaking to ANI, Gagan Kapoor, Regional head of Delhi PVR Cinemas said that theatres will follow safety guidelines announced by the MHA along with the global standards defined by the Global Cinema Federation (GCF).
"PVR has involved several goodwill screenings for the company's employees, health workers, and the police force and their families, who would later act as evangelists for the brand," said Kapoor.
Outside the cinema hall, masks have also been arranged for visitors entering the food gallery keeping in mind social distancing measures, and all incoming viewers will need to download the 'Arogya Setu' app on their mobile. According to the MHA guidelines, air conditioner temperature inside the cinema halls must be between 24 degrees to 30 degrees for people's safety.
"Our preparations for running operations are very solid and we have been preparing for it over the last seven months. We aim to provide a safe movie experience to our customers amid COVID-19," Sanjay Barjatya, Regional Operations Head, Miraj Cinemas, told ANI.
Theatre owners are confident to pull off their business with new restrictions and manage the safety of customers as well as their staff members after a seven-month shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Union government allowed multiplexes, cinema halls and theatres to reopen from October 15 within the framework of a set of standard operating procedure (SOP). The MHA left it to states to take a final call on the matter.