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Decision to reopen cinema halls will be taken after finalisation of SOP: CM Thackeray


Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray Thursday said the decision to re-open cinema halls in the state will be taken once the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) are finalised. He said that the cultural affairs department of the state government has been asked to draft the SOPs.

While trying to sympathise with the Bollywood over the lockdown of cinema halls, the Chief Minister in an apparent show of solidarity without naming anyone slammed attempts being made to malign the image of the Film Industry.

It was an indirect jibe aimed at some television news channels coverage in the Sushant Singh Rajput mysterious death case. It may be recalled that some Bollywood personalities have moved the Delhi High Court over the issue alleging that the image of Bollywood was being tarnished by casting aspersions on some leading Bollywood personalities.

Also Read: Theatres opens after seven months in COVID-19 shadow

The Chief Minister held a meeting with the multiplex and cinema hall owners via video conferencing, against the backdrop of the cinema halls which are shut for more than six months after the Covid-19 induced lockdown was imposed. He however, assured them that the government would soon give permission to reopen the cinema halls.  

“The entertainment industry gives momentum to the state’s economy and by shutting the cinema halls the government is not drawing any kind of happiness,” Thackeray told the cinema hall owners.  

He said, the government is unlocking in a phased manner and while doing so time should not come to re-impose lockdown in the state.

“Utmost care will have to be taken to ensure that the audience does not contract infection as they would be sitting in an air conditioned hall for more than two hours watching a film,” he added.

The chief minister said in countries such as Australia, some European countries and also in Sweden lockdowns had to be re-imposed.

“A warning has been issued that in winters the infection rate might rise, hence there is a need to go ahead by being cautious,” Thackeray said.

Emphasising on maintaining sanitation in cinema halls by undertaking sanitizing, he said, it will be necessary to follow 50 per cent occupancy in the cinema halls.

“While following the SOP, maintaining cleanliness, wearing masks by the audience, sanitization and maintaining physical distancing all will be necessary,” he stressed. 


Chief Minister Thackeray also said that Maharashtra is not only the financial capital of the country but is also known as the cultural capital.

He said that Bollywood cinemas give stiff competition to Hollywood movies. “There is a huge fan following for the Bollywood movies. Film industry is a big entertainment industry. It also provides job opportunities to many,” he noted.

He however said that since last few days Bollywood is being maligned from a section in the society. “This is immensely painful. Whosoever is trying to finish Bollywood will not be tolerated.


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