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Maharashtra allows cinema halls, theatres to reopen from November 5

The state government issued an order on November 4 which states that cinema halls, multiplexes, drama theatres, will be allowed to open with 50 percent of their seating capacity in areas outside of the containment zones.
Nov 4, 2020 / 05:08 PM IST

In a big relief for the cinema business, the Maharashtra government has allowed theatres to reopen from November 5.

The state government issued an order on November 4 stating that cinema halls, multiplexes, drama theatres, will be allowed to open with 50 percent of their seating capacity in areas outside of the containment zones.

"No eatables will be allowed inside the cinema halls, multiplexes, drama theatres. The SOP for the same will be issued by the Cultural Affairs Department and local authorities. The Cultural Affairs Department will take into consideration the SOP issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting," the order said.

Amid the major markets for the exhibition industry, Maharashtra is the last to allow theatres to reopen.

The central government had allowed theatres to reopen from October 15. But in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra theatres continued to remain shut.

While theatres in Maharashtra will reopen from November 5, cinemas in Tamil Nadu will reopen from November 10.

Every stakeholder in the film industry from exhibitors to producers were waiting for a go ahead from the Maharashtra government to let theatres restart operations.

Makers of big Hollywood and Bollywood ventures had said that it would not be possible for them to release films without the reopening of theatres in Maharashtra.

Films like Christopher Nolan's Tenet, Akshay Kumar-starrer Sooryavanshi, Ranveer Singh's 83 all are waiting to release on the big screen.

"From content point of view, there are a bunch of new and compelling films lined up for a theatrical release across Hindi and regional languages and with the heavyweight cinema market of Maharashtra now opening up, we should see these being announced over the coming days and these will facilitate ticketing trends that will follow. In the first two weeks since cinemas have opened up across states," said Ashish Saksena, COO – Cinemas, BookMyShow.

Analyst Karan Taurani, Vice-President, Elara Capital believes that producers will become more receptive to releasing new content.

Markets like Delhi/Uttar Pradesh and Mumbai contribute 25 to 40 percent of overall national box office collections.

In an earlier interview to a newspaper, PVR Cinemas' CEO, Kamal Gianchandani had said that Maharashtra is the torchbearer of the film business as the state is a strong market not only for Bollywood and Hollywood films but also brings in strong office numbers for Marathi and south films.
Maryam Farooqui
first published: Nov 4, 2020 05:08 pm
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