In 2016, when Satyajit Ray’s son went to the Bhowanipore area in Kolkata, he was distraught to see two iconic cinema halls that once featured his maestro father’s classics, shut down forever. A newspaper quoted him as saying he was `heartbroken’.
But if cinema halls faced an uncertain future then, stampeded by the arrival of fancy multiplexes, the threat of COVID-19 is an altogether different proposition.
India has already seen closure of about 1,000 theatres in 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic. To save the rest from disintegration, harried cinema owners are seeking relief measures from the government in the upcoming Budget.
Manoj Desai, Executive Director of G7 Multiplex, which is also known as Gaiety Galaxy and Maratha Mandir, a single screen theatre, told Moneycontrol said that the 50 percent capacity inside the halls is 'killing the exhibition space.'