- As is known, successive unlock guidelines have allowed the recommencement of many a stalled economic activity gradually. The latest guidelines allowing the reopening of cinema halls will be viewed as providing a great fillip to the struggling entertainment industry shut for more than seven months owing to the pandemic. Industry stakeholders were beseeching the authorities to allow screening since long as the shooting of films and serials did commence operations a couple of months back. Now that the authorities have consented to the request, how the citizens respond to the move will be interesting to watch.
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- Of course, apart from the mandatory social distancing norms that are required to be adhered to will be put in place, what might pose a real challenge to the exhibitors will be to lure the audience back into the fold amid raging virus scare. The biggest dampener for the exhibitors will be to keep the occupancy in a hall to fifty percent of the capacity in line with the social distancing norms prescribed. The mandatory placing of sanitizers at the entry point as also sanitizing the entire hall after every screening will add to the overheads rendering the entire exercise mostly unviable.
- Apprehensions about the virus spread are still trending at an unusually higher level and this factor may largely dissuade the movie lovers from venturing out immediately to soak in the atmosphere. However, on the flipside, millions of people confined to the four walls, with or without work, and glued to the idiot box for months on now would be pining for some real entertainment in a big hall synonymous with movie theaters. Trust me, virus fatigue has permeated all walks of life and people have had harrowing experiences in dealing with the challenges and are yearning for relaxation.
- The Tourism industry is yet to show signs of picking up pace as people continue to exercise caution owing to the pandemic scare as also wary of financial burden, the most appropriate and easy option available to unwind is bars, pubs, and cinema, not necessarily in that order. Pubs and bars are fully operational by now and allowing cinema halls to operate would complete the most preferred troika of options for the patrons to indulge in entertaining frayed/battered nerves. What better way than to relax and soak in the atmosphere watching favourite stars weave magic on the big screen.
- As everyone knows, the only potent vaccine available to keep the virus at bay is to maintain social distancing, wear a personal mask covering nose and mouth, and keep washing hands frequently. Especially wearing a mask even in the comforts of a cinema hall should be diligently followed. Any let up now would be akin to inviting the disaster to strike us with renewed force. Enjoy the cinema but with caution in place. Go for it!