TIf you are anywhere in Maharashtra, chances are you’ve been itching to go back to the theatres. Because the Coronavirus pandemic didn’t just plague our lives but stayed long enough to cripple various sectors that will arguably bear a dent for the rest of our lifetime. Now while it isn’t even over, life is bouncing back to normalcy, well the new normal anyway. In the same breath, even the cinemas are reopening in the film capital of the country and the box office display has never looked this promising. Earlier Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray had stated that “Theatres and auditoriums in Maharashtra will open after 22nd October 2021 while observing all COVID safety protocols. SOP is in the works and will be declared soon.” Lo and behold, the SOPs are here!
Theatres and auditoriums in Maharashtra will open after 22nd October 2021 while observing all COVID safety protocols. SOP is in the works and will be declared soon.
— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) September 25, 2021
The Maharashtra government has released the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for theatres in the state that will be reopening from October 22. But before we get inside the dark rooms to watch our favourite stars on the big screen again, there are some rules that viewers (and the theatres) have to follow. According to a Times of India report, theatres can only operate at a 50% capacity with double vaccination shots compulsory for staff of theatres/multiplexes and food court/areas.
What about the cinegoers? The Aarogya Setu App showing safe status shall be mandatory for all visitors. Or one could show the final Covid Vaccination Certificate. Also, no food and beverage are allowed inside the halls and a mask is compulsory throughout the duration of the film for obvious reasons.
While the exhibition of films is not allowed in containment zones, the ones open are bound to have crowd management tactics in place to avoid crowding with staggered row-wise movement at the entry and exit points. Furthermore, longer intermissions may be used to allow the audience seated in different rows of the auditorium to move in a staggered manner. It is also being said that show commencement time, intermission period and finish time of a show at any screen shall not overlap with the commencement time, intermission period or finish time of a show at any other screen in a multiplex. Not just that, it is also being said that the contact number shall be taken at the time of booking of tickets to facilitate contact tracing. Now, that sounds like a plan!
Meanwhile, Bollywood is also gearing up for big-ticket releases that were delayed due to the pandemic. From Akshay Kumar’s Sooryavanshi to Ranveer Singh’s 83, it’s raining movies. Check out the dates of the movies below.
Cover Image: Shutterstock/IMDb