All cinema halls, theatres and multiplexes are allowed to function from Thursday in Delhi—but with a limited seating capacity and a series of other measures aimed at safety from Covid-19—under guidelines of the Central government which were notified by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) last week.
In Delhi, cinema halls, multiplexes and theatres have been shut since March 12, much before the nationwide lockdown came into effect on March 25 to arrest the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
The standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the reopening of cinemas, issued by the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) ministry, make a six-foot distance between people watching films mandatory. It also mandates staggered entry and exits from cinema halls, including during intervals.
Sanitisation of halls after each screening is also mandatory. Seats have to be left vacant for social distancing and marked with fluorescent markers. Crowding in lobbies, common areas, and lifts is barred. The guidelines suggest longer intermissions to allow audiences seated in different rows to move in a staggered manner.
The multiplex association of India had said in a statement: “We are committed to ensuring a safe, secure and hygienic cinema-going experience for the movie-lovers…The permission from the Delhi governments to reopen cinemas will help to ensure that the cinema exhibition sector is able to quickly recover from the dire economic and financial impact of the epidemic. We look forward to welcoming back moviegoers to a safe and amazing brand-new experience at our cinemas.”