New Delhi: In a major relief to the production houses and all the moviegoers waiting for the complete reopening of cinema halls, the Central government on Saturday evening has allowed film theatres and multiplexes to open at full capacity from February 1.
The movie theatre business which was severely hit due to the pandemic is now expected to be back on track as theatres have been permitted to operate at full capacity across the country.
Following the approval from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Union Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry has also released guidelines regarding the operation of cinema halls on Sunday. However, theatres must strictly follow the Covid-19 protocols during this time.
Thermal scanning is also made mandatory at the entry point of the theatres. There will also be a time gap between the screening of two movie shows so that people entering and moving out of cinema halls could follow social distancing.
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar on Sunday gave information about the new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) related to film screening. " From February 1, all seats in theatres can be occupied. We are encouraging more and more online movie show bookings," he said.
Covid protocols as well as sanitisation facility would need to be followed. Moviegoers can as usually buy food items from the stalls at the theatres and take them inside the movie halls.
Javadekar said although these things are normal, but the situation became abnormal so all necessary restrictions had been imposed and that these restrictions are now on the verge of ending. Therefore, cinema halls would run at 100 per cent capacity.
On January 27, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had approved the opening of theatres with 100 per cent capacity. Following this, the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued new SOPs and made the information public on Sunday.