Indian cinemas allowed to reopen with 100% capacity

The new guidelines, released by India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Saturday, pertain to “cinemas, theaters, and multiplexes,” allowing them to operate at full capacity.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Indian cinemas and theaters all over the country, except for Covid-19 containment zones, to increase seating from 50 percent to full capacity i.e 100% in a move welcomed by the battered movie industry.

The new guidelines, released by India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Saturday, pertain to “cinemas, theaters, and multiplexes,” allowing them to operate at full capacity from Monday provided they abide by a set of rules aimed at preventing the spread of the disease.

Read more: Ancestral homes of Bollywood actors in Peshawar approved as national heritage

These include physical distancing of “at least 6 feet” outside of cinema halls, common areas, or waiting rooms. Visitors and staff must wear face coverings or masks “at all times,” as well as following basic hygiene rules such as covering their mouths and noses when sneezing or coughing and avoid spitting.

Theaters must continue to follow the precautionary measures already in place, such as having sanitizers readily available to guests, preventing overcrowding, and ensuring the auditoriums are sufficiently ventilated.

Read more: Hrithik Roshan’s Post-Shave Video Impresses Bollywood Buddies

The newly-released regulations also roll back restrictions that ravaged Bollywood, with the spate of suicides of actors over the past year sending shockwaves across the nation.

Movie production resumed in the fall with stringent social-distancing rules in place, but although they were allowed to reopen in October, cinemas and theaters had to operate at 50-percent capacity.

Industry professionals rejoiced over the development. The producers guild of India described the move as “an important step” in Bollywood’s “recovery” from the coronavirus-induced downfall.

Read more: Indian actress quits Bollywood to follow Islam

Film exhibitor Vishek Chauhan celebrated the news as “another step towards normalcy.”

“We were down… We saw our obituaries written,” he said, apparently referring to the series of tragic deaths in Bollywood amid the pandemic.

While New Delhi formally removed the seating cap, it left it to the states to decide whether they are ready to ease the restrictions, noting that “states/union territories may consider proposing additional measures as per their field assessment.”

Read more: Independent musicians thrive as pandemic silences Bollywood

Latest