Citing Tamil Nadu's Example, EIMPA Urges Mamata Banerjee to Allow 100 Percent Occupancy at Theatres
File photo of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. (PTI)
The Eastern India Motion Pictures Association (EIMPA) has requested the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to allow the screening of movies in multiplexes and cinema halls in the State with 100 percent occupancy.
Speaking to News18.com, EIMPA secretary, Ashish Banerjee said, “The Tamil Nadu government has allowed theatres to open with 100 percent capacity. Citing the example of Tamil Nadu, we have requested our Chief Minister to allow 100 percent occupancy in the theatres.”
On January 4, 2021, the Tamil Nadu government allowed theatres in the state to open with 100 percent capacity. The decision was taken after well known actors including Vijay and Silambarasan requested the Chief Minister to allow the function of cinema halls with full occupancy in their state.
Banerjee said, “We are facing problems in releasing big budget movies because of the restriction. Already the film industry has suffered a huge loss and if things continue like this then survival of this industry will be difficult.”
Commenting on the pandemic, he said, “We all are aware of the situation but we believe that even after the government allows 100 percent occupancy in theatres, viewers will not turn up in large numbers. However, we firmly believe that by lifting the occupancy restriction, the mental block among the viewers, production houses and distributors will go. The whole idea behind our demand is to create an atmosphere so that people should not worry as they can watch movies while maintaining the safety guidelines.”
The EIMPA members also argued that if AC trains, AC buses, airlines, shopping malls, metro railways can function normally without any restrictions then why not allowing the theatres with 100 percent occupancy.
The Chairman of the Exhibitor Ratan Saha, said, “We are hopeful that our Chief Minister will listen to our grievances and will soon allow theatres to function with full occupancy.”
In West Bengal there are nearly 50 multiplexes and 235 single screens are there and all of them suffered a massive loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On September 27, 2020, Mamata announced permission/reopening of cinema halls, musical shows, magic shows and dance shows with restricted occupancy in West Bengal from October 1, 2020.