22nd September 2021

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Cinemas reopened

After being closed for nearly seven months, cinemas outside containment zones in various Indian states reopened on October 15. But things will never be the same again.

  • India, where movies are a major social event and entertainment medium, now has to get used to a new era of watching movies.
  • Theaters strictly adhere to government-issued SOPs to ensure the safety of their customers.
  • These include minor shows, 50% occupancy, remote seating, mandatory masks, contactless payments, single-use 3D glasses, and more.
  • On Wednesday, PVR Cinemas demonstrated all the precautions it has taken.
  • According to Gagan Kapur, regional manager for PVR Theaters in Delhi, the entire ticketing process was paperless and customers are scanning their ticket codes.
  • Even the food menu has a QR code activated and uses UV sterilized packaging.
  • Every point of contact, every doorknob has an antimicrobial film. The theaters were sprayed with electrostatic guns that lasted about 30 days. Shows should be planned so that two intervals do not coincide, so that there is no crowding in the hallway and bathrooms.
  • The entire theater will be disinfected between shows. Since this would increase the waiting period, initially there will be slightly smaller shows that social distancing is practiced in the theater with staggered exits, paid PPE kits, and the placement of hand sanitizers on each corner.
  • The multiplexer chain is working well in advance to implement most of the SOPs after the shutdown. These included working on new protocols, training their staff, and researching.
  • As an attraction, the chain of cinemas is slated to host a number of specials, including shows for healthcare workers and frontline warriors, as well as an exciting lineup of films.
  • Despite the fact that cinemas reopened in many Indian states on October 15, there is no indication when cinemas in Maharashtra will resume operations.
  • However, INOX Leisure Ltd, India’s second largest multiplex operator, showed this week how it has prepared its multiplex chain in Mumbai for reopening.
  • At the national level, INOX multiplexes will strictly adhere to the SOPs established by the Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and will open their cinemas at 50% occupancy.
  • Temperature controls will be carried out at the entry points, no one with a high fever or flu symptoms will be allowed into the cinemas.
  • An INOX representative will write down the contact details of each customer who enters the movie theater. The biggest change they intend to make is to eliminate paper invoices entirely.
  • Moviegoers will need to scan the QR code on their tickets after security, follow social distancing and high hygiene practices.
  • Sanitizer holders are placed at each point of contact, so customers can continue to sanitize their hands regularly.
  • Safety distance decals are marked on the floor to make sure customers can follow social distance.
  • INOX also introduced an electronic menu, users can scan the QR code that is pasted on each digital poster and walls, and place their food orders.
  • After ordering their food, the food will be kept ready and customers can pick it up from the food counter.
  • Rajeev Patni, COO of INOX Leisure Ltd, welcomed the decision to reopen cinemas in India. He mentioned that INOX would be doing shows nine hours a day for a few weeks before starting showing full-blown movies.
  • He also reported that 50% occupancy would not affect ticket prices.
  • Rajeev Patni went on to explain how INOX will initially work on library content and then start showing new movies as new content begins to flow.
  • In planning the show times, we will take into account the situation in the area and what customers want. Once people gain confidence and start coming in, and once we have content, we’ll all have the shows from morning to night.
  • In West Bengal, we’re going to make five big launches this month thanks to Durga Puja. So I don’t think there is a shortage of content. In addition to Bengali content, we also have Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Punjabi content. The content part shouldn’t be a problem. The first two or three weeks we will test and soon we will start to work properly.
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