'We need to rebuild the audience's habit of going to cinemas'
After seven-month shutdown, theatres in Delhi, UP and other states to reopen tomorrow; trade predicts low footfall even as cinemas slash ticket prices.
Even as a cloud of uncertainty hangs over the fate of cinemas in Maharashtra, the seven-month theatre shutdown comes to an end today in several states, including Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Delhi. The exhibitors will open business with the early offerings of 2020 — Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, Thappad — and Sushant Singh Rajput's Kedarnath (2018).
Trade analyst Akshaye Rathi says theatres across the board have slashed ticket prices in a bid to encourage footfall. "Most movie halls will open up by October 16. In the first few weeks, the revenue is not the focus. We need to rebuild the audience's habit of going to cinemas," he says, indicating that footfall may be low on the opening day. "We will instil confidence in the masses by following the standard operating procedures and ensuring their safety. The idea is to be war-ready by the time the big movies start releasing."
PV Sunil, managing director, Carnival Cinemas, reveals that apart from offering 25 per cent discount on tickets, the multiplex chain has rolled out several schemes. "COVID-19 warriors can watch movies free of cost. For the masses, we have developed a scheme where on buying two tickets, they will get a free ticket for their next outing."
There had been chatter that Rajput's Dil Bechara would be released again on the big screen. However, trade analyst Taran Adarsh says, "Exhibitors won't screen films that have premiered online as they feel these movies should have ideally been released in cinemas."
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