Cinema halls, Maharashtra's Diwali gift for you
Multiplexes, auditoriums resume today paving way for movie screenings, drama, performing arts; swimming pools and indoor sports get green light
Movie buffs in the country's Bollywood capital and rest of Maharashtra can finally go for a movie at multiplexes and cinema halls and the lovers of performing arts can look forward to dramas, dance or music shows Thursday onwards with the state government allowing them to resume at half capacity.
Swimming pools, yoga institutes and all indoor games have also been allowed by the government.
Keeping COVID-19 protocols as the top priority, the state government issued an order on Wednesday allowing the reopening of the entertainment industry's consumer end. Multiplexes, cinema halls and auditoriums will have to reduce their seating capacity by 50 per cent. Eatables will not be allowed inside the halls.
The Cultural Affairs Department and local authorities will be sharing Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) with the stakeholders. The SOP is based on the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting's guidelines.
The film and performing arts industries have been dealing with the financial struggle since March. While television show and film producers were allowed to resume shooting around three months ago, screenings and live performances could not be held because of pandemic concerns. The Centre had issued an order a month ago to unlock cinema halls from October 15. A meeting was held between Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Cultural Affairs Minister Amit Deshmukh and industry stakeholders on October 15, to assure them of a reopening ahead of Diwali.
Maharashtra has the country's oldest and biggest theatre industry which produces dramas in Marathi (largest in number), Gujarati, Hindi and English. Several thousand performers and backstage artistes depend on the entertainment industry, that also includes live music performers (Bollywood orchestra).
Pools only for pros?
The state government's order says that swimming pools used for training of state, national and international level sportspersons will be allowed to reopen. There was no clarity if people not preparing for such competitions can go swimming.
All indoor sports like badminton, tennis, squash, etc. will be allowed with physical distancing and sanitation measures. Yoga institutes have been allowed to reopen from November 5.
The SOP for the same will be issued by the Sports and Youth Affairs Department, said the order.
Last month, the state government allowed restaurants and bars to reopen, permitted metro rail, weekly bazaars, gyms and libraries to resume. Places of worship and local trains (for all commuters) haven't been allowed to reopen yet.
Capacity at which cinemas must operate
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