NEW DELHI : I: The ministry of home affairs has allowed open air theatres to resume operations from 21 September as part of the Unlock 4.0 guidelines. However, cinema halls, entertainment parks, and similar places will continue to remain closed.
While several major multiplex chains like PVR Cinemas, INOX Leisure Ltd and Carnival Cinemas have reportedly decided to invest in open air theatres that are likely to come up by end of 2020 or early 2021, the woes of traditional theatre owners will continue.
India is expected to have lost about 10%-12% of its screen count, including both independent and multiplex properties, as part of the over five-month shutdown that began in March. For the first time ever, the theatrical business has recorded zero revenues while Bollywood alone has lost over ₹1,000 crore.
In an earlier interview with Mint, PV Sunil, managing director at Carnival Cinemas, had said covid has devastated the theatrical business and if cinema halls are not allowed to open in September, prospects of recovery will get even slimmer.
Theatre owners were eyeing reopening permits to come in September so that Bollywood could cash in on the Gandhi Jayanti weekend in October. The fear psychosis that most viewers have developed with respect to sitting with strangers in closed auditoriums coupled with umpteen films going directly to digital platforms has spelt trouble for India’s theatrical business.