The Fact News Service
Nearly 10,000 movie theaters around the country closed in mid-March following coronavirus restrictions; on Thursday cinemas will become one of the last few categories of public building to reopen. While cinemas have opened in dozens of countries around the world including the US and the UK., India’s restart comes just weeks ahead of Diwali, the festival of lights, a time when the biggest films line up for box office release. But with 7 million people in India infected with the coronavirus — the second largest outbreak in the world — doubts remain over whether audiences will fill the 50% restricted-capacity halls and if that will boost the country’s prodigious movie-making industry.
“Indian films are made for the big screen and theater audiences keep the industry humming,” said Taran Adarsh, a movie industry analyst, who fears hygiene concerns and falling discretionary spends could affect ticket sales. “After a bleak phase, this weekend and the coming weeks will determine the survival of the industry.”Just weeks ago, multiplex owners had said in full-page newspaper ads that they’d suffered $1.2 billion in ticket losses and needed to open “on an urgent basis.”
BookMyShow is rating cinemas and multiplexes on safety indicators such as daily temperature checks for staff and the availability of pre-packed food and beverages.
However, two of Bollywood’s biggest potential blockbusters could be the crowd-pullers cinemas sorely need. Owners are hoping that the big-screen debut of police drama Sooryavanshi and cricket action film 83, a eulogy to India’s cricket World Cup victory in 1983, could reverse the tide.“The joy of watching stories unfold on the big screen: the clapping, laughing, and tears. We miss it. Can’t wait to have you back at the movies!
(story sourced through inputs from agencies)