Official: Government Allows More Than Fifty Percent Occupancy


It is official. The government of India has decided to allow theatres to operate with more than fifty percent occupancy. A fresh set of guidelines will be issued to this effect soon.

In the latest development, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has decided to allow India’s cinemas to go higher than the fifty percent limit, currently permitted. The new ruling will come into effect from February 1st according to the buzz. Order comprising of new SOP’s and guidelines will be out pretty soon.

The Southern industry’s operation in the recently concluded festival season may have played a key role in making this decision. Many people across Telugu and Tamil film industries have thronged to cinemas during the Sankranthi/Pongal season. Almost all the movies in Telugu cinema, for example, were a success.

As it is, with the fifty percent occupancy, many smaller centres were operating at full capacity. The latest decision could mean more properties doing the same from February itself. Even otherwise, one can expect maximum occupancy by summer 2021.

It is, without any doubt, good news for the film industry. More than the Southern movies, it seems to be about Bollywood as the filmmakers there are still hesitant to screen the biggies. The increase in occupancy should now make them take the much-needed step. Let us wait and see who takes the first daring step.

The South Indian industries, meanwhile, would be looking at giving proper scheduling to their long list of movies that are waiting in the wings to hit the big screens.

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