After 6 months, due to COVID 19 pandemic Cinemas set to reopen in many listed states in India from 15th October. Information and broadcasting (I & B) issued certain norms termed as Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs).
According to the guidelines released by MIB minister Prakash Javadekar, theaters can open with up to 50 per cent of their seating capacity. Along with that, exhibition halls and entertainment parks have also been given green signal to welcome customers. States and union territories have been given the flexibility to permit gatherings of more than 100 people outside the containment zones after 15 October under social distancing rules.
West Bengal’s CM Mamta Banerjee announced that cinema halls can start screening films for the public from October. It was the first state to give the permission to Cinema exhibition sector. Since from March 2020, cinema halls have been shuttered down which leads to huge losses for cinema owners and staff as well. Many film producers and distributers opted OOT platforms to release their movies. But some of the movies like Sooryavanshi (Akshay Kumar) and 83 (Ranveer Singh) are waiting for a theatrical release.
SOPs Issued by the I&B Ministry:
- Advance bookings of tickets
- Digital payments will be encouraged
- Maximum 50% occupancy in the cinema halls allowed
- Alternate seats have to be marked as “Not to be occupied”
- Only asymptomatic persons will be allowed
- Only packaged food and beverages allowed
- Delivery of food inside the hall is not allowed.
- Staggered show timings
- Entry and exit to be done in a row-wise manner to avoid crowding
- Sufficient time gaps between successive screenings at each screen.
- Cinemas/ theaters/ auditoriums shall be sanitized after every screening.
- Management shall ensure the observance of physical distancing and prevent crowding in the food area.