oppn parties Cinema Halls Should Not Be Allowed To Reopen Now
OPINIONS : Strongly Expressed

January 29, 2023

People Are Talking About

Welcoming 2023

News Snippets

  • RBI governor Shaktikanta Das says that inflation is easing and the current account deficit is manageable
  • Adani Enterprises FPO sees just 1% subscription on the first day as the stock goes down to Rs 2762, much below the price band of Rs 3112-3276
  • Stocks bleed on Friday post the Hindenburg report as Adani stocks are hammered: Sensex loses 874 points to 59330 and Nifty 287 points to 17604
  • Rs 263cr TDS scam detected by the I-T department. A mid-level officer was the kingpin and had amassed huge wealth
  • Women's U-19 World Cup -India reaches the final by beating New Zealand by 8 wickets
  • New Zealand beat India by 21 runs in the first T20 as spinners choke Indian batters
  • Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna lose in the Australian Open finals
  • Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna lose in the final of the Australian Open
  • India to play New Zealand in the first T20 of the three-match series in Ranchi today
  • RBI has proposed special purpose vehicles (SPEs) mechanism to sell bad loans to interested investors via securitization
  • JD(U) decides not to attend the Bharat Jodo Yatra finale in Srinagar
  • Hindenburg defends its report on the Adani group, dares Gautam Adani to sue it in the US
  • BJP's talks with Tipra Motha in Tripura make no headway but the party is confident of winning in the ensuing elections
  • Pathan is a super hit at the box office: Rs 57cr in India (worldwide Rs 106cr) on Day 1 and then Rs 70cr on Day 2 which was Republic Day holiday
  • Centre tells Delhi HC that Covid vaccines can't be mixed when taking the second dose
A Mirage2000 and A Sukhoi 30 of the Indian Air Force on a training mission crashed separately, in Bharatpur in Rajasthan and Morena in Madhya Pradesh, killing one pilot
oppn parties
Cinema Halls Should Not Be Allowed To Reopen Now

By A Special Correspondent
First publised on 2020-07-25 13:20:08

The Information and Broadcasting ministry has recommended reopening of cinema halls from August, subject to the approval from the Home ministry. It has prescribed certain rules that the hall owners will have to adhere to. Apart from the general sanitizing and physical distancing norms for all public places, cinema halls will have to keep alternate seats vacant in the first row and then the whole of the next row vacant and proceed in that manner. That would mean they would be allowed to have only 25% of the patrons against the number of seats they have.

Many cinema hall owners' bodies have rejected this formula and have recommended waiting for the reopening until at least 50% of the seats can be filled. They said that this formula was worse than keeping the halls closed. If the cinema hall owners are not allowed to increase ticket rates, they will suffer a huge loss for every show they run. But if tickets are priced higher, audiences might not show up in good enough numbers to make it a viable proposition. Hence, not many owners are enthused by the I&B ministry's initiative.

Further, the ministry did not specify whether food and beverages would be allowed to be sold inside the cinema halls. It is no secret that the highly overpriced F&B services are the backbone of multiplexes. They are not likely to reopen if these are not allowed. But carrying food inside the auditorium runs its own huge risk as people will be touching several items and then leaving them below their seats. The cleaning staff just removes the items but does not sanitize the area. In the new normal, it would be necessary to sanitize the auditoria after each show and that will add to the costs and delay the shows, limiting the number of shows that can be held each day. That would further reduce income.

The I&B ministry's move is ill-advised. Since India is likely to see Covid-19 cases peaking in September, a call on reopening the cinema halls must be taken only in the first week of October. With nearly 50000 thousand cases being reported every day, there is no point in opening potential new hotspots. There is no way to allow viewers on 50% of the seats without doing away with norms and there is no way the halls can make a profit by selling only 25% seats. Hence, it will be better to keep the halls closed until September. 

picture credit and courtesy: the hindu businessline