The Multiplex Association of India (MAI) met with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday (December 28) to request the reopening of theatres claiming that the closing of cinemas in the capital has created "massive uncertainty" for the release of major films.
The delegation, led by Ajay Bijli, chairman of PVR Limited, emphasised the negative economic effects on the entertainment business as a result of frequent lockdowns, shutdowns, and restrictions that have occurred since March 2020.
As reported by India Today, Bijli said: “We fully understand the challenges faced by the government in these tough times. However, instead of closing cinemas, we urge them to consider introducing a ‘double vaccination requirement’ for gaining entry into cinemas, as is the case in some states. Alternatively, a 50% seating cap can be reintroduced.”
The association is concerned that the films set to be released in January, such as ‘RRR’, ‘Radhe Shyam’, and ‘Prithviraj’, will most likely be rescheduled and postponed. ‘Jersey’, starring actor Shahid Kapoor was set to be released on December 31, but has been postponed. ‘Jersey’ is now being considered for "a straight OTT release," according to the MIA letter.
MAI also requested Delhi's Deputy Sisodia to treat cinemas equally to other industries and institutions, arguing that cinemas have already demonstrated that they can operate safely through improved hygiene and safety protocols. They said that there hasn't been a single Covid-19 outbreak linked to a multiplex/theatre anywhere. In addition, the delegation submitted a study report titled ‘Low Covid Transmission Risk in Cinemas,’ which summarises findings from numerous cinemas across the world.
The matter would be further discussed with the Delhi Disaster Management Authority Task Force and other government officials, according to Deputy Chief Minister Sisodia.