Hyderabad: Owners of cinema theatres in Hyderabad and across Telangana are expected to decide on Wednesday the date from which they will throw open the cinemas for public after an eight-month long lockdown, which saw the cinema exhibition industry go into a tailspin.
According to Narayandas Narang, who managed Asian Cinema theaters, which owns over a hundred screens in Telangana, said, “work on sanitizing theatres has already begun as part of post Covid-19 lockdown precautions. We will make sure cineastes who come to watch movies won’t have to worry about Covid and instead focus on enjoying cinema,” he said.
“A meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday of all exhibitors, theatre owners and movie distributors. We expect a decision will be taken at the meeting as to when to reopen theatres,” Narang told Deccan Chronicle.
Balgovind Raju, owner of Sudarshan 35MM and Devi 70MM theatres, said, “there are around 40 movies in a queue for release, while a few others are at different stages of production. We are ready to show any movie if distributors come forward to release them.”
On concerns of Covid, Raju said, “we will take care of cine-goers as if they are our own family members. After all, if anything goes wrong, impact will be felt by the entire cinema industry, from production to exhibition.”
Emphasizing on experience, Raju said, “watching movie in theatres is different from home viewing of movies streamed online on over-the-top (OTT) platforms. Once movie lovers begin making their way to theatres, big budget movies will be forming a queue for release.”
P. Kiran, a reputed producer of the Telugu cinema industry, expressed gratitude towards Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao for his timely support. He said, “the TRS government has always encouraged the cinema Industry. Now there are a series of movies set for release which people can look forward to for release, followed by big releases in January during Sankranti festival time.”
As may be recalled, Chief Minister Chandrashekhar Rao had on Monday announced that Telangana has decided to allow reopening of cinema theatres, as long as they follow norms laid down as part of Covid-19 safety protocol. Among measures needed to be in place for cinema theatres is mandatory wearing of masks by all viewers and staff, maintaining physical distance standards in all common areas and seating capacity reduced to half of normal occupancy....