For the Indian movie trade reeling below the influence of the Covid 19, the hope that film theatres shall be re-opened in September had been dashed to the bottom. Phase Four of the Unlock directive from the Ministry Of Home Affairs which gives many added reliefs in non-containment zones, clearly states that cinema halls shall proceed to remain closed in September.

However the Directive additionally states that drive-in film theatres could be permitted to open from 21st September. Sadly the drive-in film tradition is nearly non-existent in India. Hence this SOP has no or little relevance for the crisis-ridden movie-theatre enterprise in India.

Says Shekhar Kapur, “Drive-in theatres could make a comeback as they are in the rest of the world. I don’t think theatres will fully open for another year. And if they are to follow rules of social distancing, the theatres will sell fewer tickets. So the days of multi-crore theatrical box office in one week or weekend are over. I’m afraid, the film industry, like other industries, is facing huge losses. We don’t know yet how many film workers, theatrical workers, were part of the unorganized labour sector, so even completing films maybe an issue. Except there are OTT platforms of course, but with completely lower price models.”

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