The theatres in India got shut for the last four months. The country started its unlock process since last month. During the two phases of unlocking, there was no news about the reopening of the theatres. The third phase of unlocking begins on August 1st. The central government is considering reopening theatres during this phase. However, there are a few sets of rules and restrictions for this unlock. It is being heard that the theatres can run only with 25% of occupancies during this phase. The theatre owners and the distributors are not very happy with this news.
According to a report in the Times of India, the theatres have incurred a loss of about Rs. 150 crores due to the lockdown. Now, the government may allow theatres to open with 25% of occupancies. But we have to see if people are ready to come into the cinema halls as the situation is still worse out there. Most of the moviegoers are youngsters. All of them got confined to their houses attending online classes and working from home. Families are not going out as well. Thus, it remains doubtful whether these people will come out to watch films. Some of the theatre-owners say that the operational costs will get high due to the sanitization of halls and thermal screening to audiences. Recovering costs with 25% of occupancy are not possible at all. Some people also expressed concerns over show timings due to the curfew at night.
The government should consider all these factors and come up with suitable guidelines.