Multiplexes plan to restart business as films release in OTT platforms
Businesses, as they plan to restart, has to cope with the new reality of social distancing and strict hygiene in India, multiplexes are redrawing the ways they operate.
Multiplexes have been shut for more than two months now in India to contain the spread of coronavirus. Before the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and local state authorities allow them to operate, as usual, the Multiplex Association of India (MAI) yesterday submitted plans for stringent safety and precautions to the Ministry and various state governments.
These multiplexes will focus on maintaining social distance, deep cleaning, sanitization, and washing of hands, among other things. To impose social distancing, they have also planned to install thermal screeners and contactless payments. Theatres will also arrange for PPE kits.
Alternate seats will be vacant to observe social distancing. Theatres will now accommodate 30 percent less crowd in the halls. However, this would not be applicable in luxury theatres as they already have gaps between two chairs.
Only medically certified staff will be allowed to enter the premises. Downloading of Aarogya Setu will be mandatory for them. The team would be wearing masks and gloves to maintain hygiene.
The multi-million Bollywood and other regional film industries have stopped film productions since the outbreak of COVID 19. The entertainment industry employs thousands of actors and staff. Multiplex chains like INOX, PVR, Carnival also employs hundreds of people.
The shutodown saw a massive surge in demand for over the top media platforms such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hotstar, during the lockdown.
Since last week several film producers from Bollywood and other film industries have decided to release their films on the streaming platforms, creating much discontent among multiplex owners and film distributors.
To push for their early reopening, MAI, along with FICCI, has come up with 12 point plan.
The association said they would be following norms as per global cinema.
Like most businesses, MAI is also staring at a loss of business opportunity. With major cities like Mumbai, Chennai, and Delhi, which are severely impacted by rising COVID cases, theatre owners are likely to see similar such releases in OTT platforms.
According to a statement by the owner of PVR cinemas, he expects that cinemas will reopen by mid-July. However, the central or state governments have remained silent over the resumption of business.