The lockdown has put movies and releases on hold indefinitely. Even as the government and industries try to revive the situation and bring in relaxations, it will be a while before theatres and cinemas reopen in the country.

The Multiplex Association of India and single-screen owners have written to the government asking for theatres to be opened by the end of June. However, it's uncertain when they will actually do so with the current prevailing circumstances.

kerala strike, aries multiplex, Bairavaa
Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation has decided to shut down A class theatres in Kerala from January 12.Aries Plex S L Cinemas/Facebook

Theatre owners urge govt to open cinemas

When pandemic hit India, all public gatherings, public places were the hardest hit and were shut down first. This included cinemas to encourage social distancing amongst the population. However, this meant no movie releases for an indefinite period. Bollywood has been facing a serious drop in revenues and movies are sitting unreleased on shelves.

Even as some producers chose to release completed movies on digital streaming platforms first, cinema owners struck back. Theatre and cinema owners lashed out saying that the move was not appreciated and that cinemas would recover once the lockdown was lifted and cinemas were opened once again. 

Sooryavanshi and 83 movie posters
Sooryavanshi and 83 movie postersCollage of photos taken from Twitter and Facebook

While things still look uncertain, the Multiplex Association of India and single-screen owners wrote to the Centre urging for a reopening of theatres by June 30th. They underlined that safety would be key and all guidelines would be duly followed. They are hoping for an optimistic reopening in the latter half of June. 

Among the guidelines stipulated whenever theatres reopen, it includes deep cleaning of theatres, audience temperature checks. Masks and gloves are to be worn by cinema workers and must maintain social distancing between audience members as well in the auditorium. The whole casual, relaxed and comfortable viewing experience which was previously the USP of a cinema will now be a serious, complicated affair.