The entertainment world is working towards returning to normalcy after COVID-19-induced lockdown that lasted for months. While numerous ventures’ shootings have been going on, theatres are yet to receive the pre-COVID era kind of footfalls. With Tamil Nadu government recently allowing theatres to screen films with 100 per cent seating capacity, film associations in other states have also sought the same.
Seeking that this issue be addressed, the Eastern India Motion Picture Association has written to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for resumption of theatres with full capacity.
The West Bengal Government had in September allowed cinemas to open with 50 per cent occupancy. Though some celebrities of the Bengali film industry had expressed their delight over the return of audiences to theatres, the association cited various reasons, seeking a return of full capacity for film shows.
Piya Sengupta, the president of Eastern India Motion Picture Association, in the letter to the CM termed the situation as ‘unfortunate’ that restaurants were allowed with full capacity, but not theatres.
The body also highlighted that the occupancy restriction was preventing many 'good films' from releasing. The sitauton had harmed the ‘fate of at least one lakh people’ directly or indirectly associated with the film industry, the letter stated.
Meanwhile, the Telugu Film Producers Council has also made a formal representation to the Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, seeking that 100 per cent capacity be allowed in theatres. It highlighted that the exhibitors were not able to manage their expenses with current 50 per cent occupancy. It cited the Tamil Nadu government’s decision keeping in view of the decreasing number of COVID-19 cases and plight faced by the employees of the film business.
The Tamil Nadu government had allowed on Wednesday, full capacity for screenings in theatres ahead of Pongal. Vijay’s Master is set to be one of the major releases across the nation on January 13, and Simbu’s Eeswaran is also among the releases. However, the move attracted mixed responses, with Arvind Swamy expressing his disapproval of the move.
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