Rejoicing to film lovers who have been waiting to catch up with their favorite films on the big screen, as the theaters are expected to reopen in the city from next week, with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issuing standard procedures on preventive measures for screening films .

Center on Tuesday issued guidelines regarding the operation of cinemas and multiplexes, which are ready to reopen from October 15.  As a result, theaters across the city are showing films according to the necessary precautions.

The movie theaters, which were closed for more than six months, will start again with 50 percent seating in light of the Covid-19.  The multiplex show timings will be overridden so that the show timings do not overlap.

Telangana Exhibitors Association (theater owners) welcomes the step of the center that will help revive the theater experience for moviegoers.  The association was of the opinion that limiting the seat to 50 percent of the seat in this situation is more than enough.

Vijayender Reddy, secretary of the Telangana Exhibitors Association, said it would take a month or two before the audience came to theaters.  “We expect the government to be able to make use of 100 percent films by January and that film collections will have a big jump,” he said.

According to theater owners, there are 220 movie theaters, including multiplexes in Greater Hyderabad, and the score rises to 600 in the state, while seating in theaters ranges from 400 to 1,300.  In RTC X Roads, which is a hotspot for popular theaters, including Sudarshan, Sandhya and others, the owners make the necessary arrangements to show movies.

Balgovind Raj, owner of Sudarshan Theater 35MM and Devi 70mm, said all precautions would be taken for the safety of the audience.  Movies can even be used with 30 percent of the persons, and it is good to allow 50 percent.

‘We mark X for each alternate seat and viewers are not allowed to sit next to each other.  We do not expect the audience to flock to theaters immediately, and it may take a while before they go to theaters in larger numbers.  “There are also no big movies ready for release, and we only have to show old movies,” he said.

Given the pandemic situation, theater owners are asking the state government to collect parking fees until the situation is normal, as maintenance costs are high to screen 50 percent-seat movies.
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