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Delhi may take call on cinema halls this week

A meeting of the DDMA is likely to be scheduled later this week and the central guidelines will be discussed before any notification is issued.

Updated: Oct 01, 2020, 06:20 IST

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times New Delhi

A worker chemically disinfects the premises inside a cinema hall at PVR ICON during a press preview to show their preparedness of reopening halls amid the Covid-19 pandemic, at DLF Promenade, Vasant Kunj, in New Delhi. (Sanjeev Verma/ Hindustan Times)

The reopening guidelines issued by the central government on Wednesday night, allowing further relaxations in Covid-19 restrictions, came as a ray of hope for owners of cinema halls, which have been shut in Delhi since early March.

The new guidelines, according to an order issued by the Union home ministry, allow cinema halls, multiplexes and theatres to open from October 15 with a 50% seating capacity, in areas outside containment zones. Detailed standard operating procedures will be issued soon by the Union ministry of information and broadcasting.

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In Delhi, the guidelines will apply only after it is notified through a separate order by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), which is chaired by lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is DDMA vice-chairperson.

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A senior official said a meeting of the DDMA is likely to be scheduled later this week and the central guidelines will be discussed before any notification is issued. Delhi government spokespersons and senior officials in the DDMA did not comment on the matter.



In Delhi, cinema halls, multiplexes and theatres have been closed since March 12.

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“We thank the central government for the decision. We are awaiting the detailed SOP now. We assure that all protocols will be followed in letter and spirit,” said Devang Sampat, CEO, Cinepolis India.

The multiplex association of India said in a statement: “We are committed to ensure a safe, secure and hygienic cinema-going experience for movie lovers… An urgent permission from the state governments to reopen cinemas in their states would go a substantial distance in ensuring that the cinema exhibition sector is able to quickly recover from the dire economic and financial impact of the epidemic. We look forward to welcoming back moviegoers to a safe and amazing brand-new experience at our cinemas.”

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