Cinema theatres and multiplexes reopen in Karnataka with safety protocols

Published : October 15, 2020 17:50 IST

A theatre in Bengaluru which reopened which is scheduled to start screening cinemas from October 15. Photo: K. MURALI KUMAR

With the Central government’s Unlock 5.0 guidelines allowing for the reopening of cinema halls and multiplexes in the country from October 15 after they were shut for almost eight months because of the COVID pandemic, the Karnataka government has issued a detailed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) regulating public movie screenings in the State. While many single-screen theatres in Bengaluru have adopted a wait and watch policy and will not open their premises immediately, many multiplexes have decided to begin screening films from October 15.

According to the State government’s SOP, viewers cannot exceed 50 per cent of the seating capacity at any point and seats that are “not to be occupied” have to be clearly marked. Body temperatures of cine-goers will be compulsorily checked before their entry into the halls and only those without fever will be allowed inside. Apart from this, films should be screened in a staggered manner in multiplexes. As for sale and consumption of refreshments, only packed food and beverages will be allowed.

In Bengaluru, multiplexes like INOX and PVR are providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits to viewers for an extra charge. Online ticket booking sites show that no new films are slated to be screened in cinemas for now and only older films are being screened. It remains to be seen whether ardent movie buffs will hazard a visit to the cinemas for the experience of watching movies on the big screen at a time when COVID cases are on the rise in Bengaluru. With the close to 5,000 new active COVID cases every day, Bengaluru has the highest number of new cases among the cities in the country.

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