- MHA announces Unlock 4.0
- Open-air theatres will now be allowed to operate but did not lift restriction from Cinemas
- Cinema owners from all around India to digital protest
Cinema owners from all over India have taken it to the US based microblogging platform Twitter to request the government to consider lifting up the restriction and allowing to operate as they have been shut since 1st lockdown was imposed in the country back in March.
Using the #SupportMovieTheatres on Twitter and other social media platforms, both independent and multiplex screen owners said it was absurd to keep cinemas shut when most parts of the economy had already seen green flag to begin their operations, and that lakhs of livelihoods are at stake here.
As part of the Unlock 4.0 guidelines, the Ministry of Home Affairs has allowed open-air theatres to operate but said cinema halls will remain shut. The Multiplex Association of India tweeted, “The cinema industry is an inherent part of the country’s culture, but also an integral part of the economy, supporting millions of livelihoods,”
The Cinema Industry is an inherent part of the country’s culture, but also an integral part of the economy, supporting millions of livelihoods #SupportMovieTheatres— Multiplex Association Of India (@MAofIndia) August 30, 2020
The Multiplex body added, “Most countries across the world have allowed cinemas to operate. We request the government of India to allow us to operate as well. We are committed to offering a safe and hygienic cinema experience. If aviation, metro, malls, wellness and restaurants can be allowed to operate, the cinema industry too deserves a chance,”
Akshaye Rathi who is an Independent distributor and an Exhibitor emphasized that it had been almost six months for cinema owners without any income, relief in electricity minimum demand charges or even the property tax, no reduction in maintenance expenses and no assurance of an economic package.
Rathi tweeted, “Over 20 lakh jobs are at stake and the livelihood of thousands of families at risk. Investments worth thousands of crores (is) under threat,”.
Vishek Chauhan, a Bihar based exhibitor said that the government should consider imposing the cap of 100 people which it has imposed on both social and cultural congregations, on movie theatres too, or come up with an entirely separate capacity limit.
The Chief Financial Officer of INOX Leisure Limited, Kailash B Gupta, pointed out that “if flights can operate without social distancing, gatherings of 100 people are allowed, metro can run, then why not theatres?” Aditya Chowksey, a film distributor and exhibitor said, “For last many months we have been hearing about being vocal for local or ‘Atmanirbhar’ but by not allowing cinemas to open with guidelines, the government seems hell bent to destroy a segment which is rooted in Indian soil, what a contradiction,”.
For last many months we have been hearing about "Being vocal for local ""Atmanirbhar" but by not allowing cinemas to open with guidelines, the government seems to hell bent to destroy a segment which is rooted in Indian soil , what a contradiction.. #SupportMovieTheatres— Aditya Chowksey (@AChowksey) August 30, 2020