Though almost everything has resumed in Unlock-4, cinema theatres continue to be closed, as the government has not allowed movie halls to function fearing that doing so would result in the spread of Covid-19.
With the government yet to change its mind even after multiple representations from theatre and multiplex owners and assurances that they would strictly follow all safety protocols, celebrities have voiced for the cause of repening cinema halls.
Actors, actresses and directors among others are taking to social media and urging the government to allow reopening of theatres. They have been using the hash tags #UnlockCinemaSaveJobs, #SupportMovieTheatres and #SaveCinema.
Organisations such as the Multiplex Association of India (MAI), Producers Guild of India (GUILD) and the Eastern India Motion Pictures Association (EIMPA) have said in a letter, “The cinema exhibition sector, comprising close to 10,000 cinema screens across the country, is a critical part of the functional and dynamic film industry.”
They added: “This is a sector which directly employs more than two lakh people, while providing indirect income to lakhs of people. Due to countrywide lockdowns, the cinema industry has run into an extremely adverse and hostile situation; it was the first sector to be shut down and will be the last to reopen.”
“Cinemas are equipped with better abilities to ensure crowd management in stringent hygienic environments while maintaining applicable social distancing norms,” they stated.
“Assigning top-most priority to the health and well-being of our guests and employees, we have developed and are ready to implement a safety plan with the most stringent SOP,” the bodies said.
“Given the dire economic impact of the epidemic on our sector and livelihoods of people, we sincerely urge the government of India to allow the reopening of cinemas on an urgent basis,” they said.