Unlock 3: Will cinema halls across country reopen in August? Here's what I&B Ministry has said
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Since the onset of coronavirus pandemic in the country, every industry in the country has been facing huge losses due to the closures and suspension of operations. One such affected industry is the entertainment industry and the worst-affected part of the industry are the movie theatres.
Since PM Modi imposed the coronavirus-mandated lockdown on March 25, movie theatres across the country were closed and cinema-goers are resorting to OTT platforms to keep up with the latest movies.
Now as the country is approaching towards the third phase of Unlock, the phase-wise upliftment of coronavirus-mandated lockdown, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry (I&B) has passed a recommendation to the Union Home Ministry to allow the movie theatres across the country to reopen from August.
I&B secretary Amit Khare, as reported by news agency IANS, take up this matter at a closed-door meeting with the CII Media Committee on Friday. He, however, also said that the final decision on the reopening of theatres will be taken up by his counterpart in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ajay Bhalla.
Khare, as reported by IANS, during the interaction said that he has recommended that the movie theatres all over India may be allowed to reopen as early as August 1 or at the latest around August 31.
He also suggested an alternative formula to practice social distancing and other COVID norms. As per his recommendations, theatres will have alternate seats in the first row and then the next row to be kept vacant and proceeding in this fashion throughout.
Khare said that his ministry's recommendation takes into consideration the two-metre social distancing norm, but tweaks it gently to two yards instead. The Home Ministry, however, still has to revert on the recommendation.
He also said that the I&B Ministry's recommendations came after taking the two-metre social distancing norms into consideration, but added that the ministry tweaked it a bit to two yards instead. The Home Ministry will revert to these recommendations.
The cinema owners, present in the interaction, however, has termed the two yards formula is 'unwise' and said that running the films with only 25 per cent capacity of theatres is worse than keeping them shut.
The attendees at the meet included media CEOs like N.P. Singh of Sony, Sam Balsara (Madison), Megha Tata, (Discovery), Gaurav Gandhi (Amazon Prime), Manish Maheshwari (Twitter), S. Sivakumar (Bennett Coleman and Co Ltd), and K. Madhavan, Star & Disney, and also Chairman, CII Media Committee.
(With IANS Inputs)
Posted By: Talib Khan