Theatres in Delhi largely remained shut even after the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) allowed cinema halls to reopen at 50 per cent capacity from Monday onwards. Cinema halls were closed when COVID second wave hit the country in mid-April and were allowed to reopen after three months.
Despite the orders, theatres are still very apprehensive in their approach to reopen their doors to the public. PVR cinemas still remained shut and is expected to welcome the public this Friday, said an employee from PVR cinemas. He said that we are still awaiting confirmation as to when we can start operating and welcome the public. This Friday, we have a new release and we may open up theatres then”, he added. PVR cinemas in Delhi has some 60 screens.
Delite cinema in Darya Ganj, one of the most iconic and oldest theatres, is still shut and is cautious about reopening one. They are expected to open doors for the public later this week. Janmajeya Verma, Delite Cinema said that we have done all the requisite preparations and have also completely sanitised the space. The place is now fit for operations at 50 per cent capacity. We will, however, take the call later this week as when we can welcome the public. He also said that since there are no new releases, we might show an older release to the public. We still have nothing concrete to say, maybe by Friday things will get more clear, he concluded.
Indian cinema, just like other major sectors of the economy, took a major hit last year due to the pandemic. The industry was in heavy losses with cinema halls, and theatres shut in major parts of the country. Even after reopening cinema halls at 50 per cent, people were still apprehensive about the idea of watching movies in theatres due to risk of transmission. This time too, despite the orders, theatres are hesitant and yet not open doors for the public.
Inox cinema is also shut and is expected to be operational by Friday, said an employee of Inox cinemas. He further told the reporters that they have received a directive from the head office that we will only be operational by later this Friday. Safety precautions have been taken and we are excited to welcome the audience back, he added. Hopefully, we will have something to release on screen on Friday, the employee concluded. Inox cinemas has a multiplex in Nehru Place and single-screen theatre is also there in Jangpura among others.