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Theatres in Bengaluru to Resume Operations from Friday, Govt Issues Guidelines

A worker wearing protective gear sprays disinfectant inside an empty PVR multiplex that was closed following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New Delhi.

A worker wearing protective gear sprays disinfectant inside an empty PVR multiplex that was closed following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New Delhi.

After six months of closure due to the lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus, the Centre allowed cinema halls to open from Thursday as part of Unlock 5.0.

Most theatres in Bengaluru did not open for public on Thursday and preferred to wait for a day in anticipation of the weekend crowd on Friday. After six months of closure due to the lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus, the Centre allowed cinema halls to open from Thursday as part of Unlock 5.0.

However, the theatre owners were sceptical about the business prospects after six months of lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus scare. "We are starting only on Friday. So far as I know, all the cinema halls are going to open on Friday as per the decision taken by the cinema hall owners and managers at a meeting on Wednesday," Prakash, the manager of Veeresh Theatre on Magadi Road told P T I.

According to him, only new movies are released on Thursday whereas on Friday or weekends, old movies are shown. "Since all are going to show old movies in the theatres, there is no point in opening theatres on Thursday," Prakash added.

The manager of Nartaki Theatre too echoed the same views. He said his theatre will start only on October 23.

However, most theatres have decided to start showing movies from Friday. Meanwhile, the Karnataka government issued Standard Operating Procedures on Thursday for cinema halls.

It said theatres in containment zones will not open. There should be a mandatory distance of six feet between each person and people have to wear masks all the time. The theatre authorities will have to arrange hand sanitisers and thermal screening of movie-goers before letting them in. It asked people to follow the general protocol while sneezing and coughing.

The theatre owners have been directed to maintain sufficient time gap between the screening of two movies in the same hall. Also, they have been instructed not to allow more than 50 per cent viewers of the total capacity. The government has asked the theatre owners to prefer payment through netbanking for selling tickets and eatables inside the theatre.


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