Days after the Home Office announced that theaters across India could increase occupancy rates from the existing 50%, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting announced on Saturday evening that the theaters would be allowed to operate at full capacity from February 1.
On Saturday evening, the I&B Department issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) that must be followed with the new guidelines. Although the Center has enabled theaters to be operated at full capacity, States and UTs may propose additional measures in accordance with the field assessment. General SOPs provide that people maintain social distancing at all times, wear masks, and theaters should have disinfectants at entry and exit points. Thermal screening of each visitor and staff is also compulsory.
The audience can be encouraged to avoid moving during intermission. Longer intermissions can be used to allow the audience seated in different rows of the auditorium to move in a staggered fashion. Staggered show times should be followed for multiple screens to avoid overcrowding. The temperature setting of all air conditioning units should be between 24 and 30 ° C, among other precautionary measures.
This new set of guidelines will provide relief to theater owners, exhibitors and filmmakers who have long waited to release their films in theaters. Earlier this month, Tamil Movie Master became the first major Indian film to hit theaters. Despite the 50% capacity of theaters, the film did exceptionally well at the box office.
In Bollywood, movies like Sooryavanshi, 83, Radhe: Your most wanted Bhai are some of the major films that await their theatrical release this year.
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