For the Indian film industry reeling under the impact of the Covid 19, the hope that movie theatres will be re-opened in September had been dashed to the ground. Phase 4 of the Unlock directive from the Ministry Of Home Affairs which offers many added reliefs in non-containment zones, clearly states that cinema halls shall continue to remain closed in September.
However the Directive also states that drive-in movie theatres would be permitted to open from 21st September. Sadly the drive-in movie culture is almost non-existent in India. Hence this SOP has no or little relevance for the crisis-ridden movie-theatre business 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.”