Photo essay: Multiplexes reopen after lockdown

It has been four days since cinema halls reopened in the country, and it seems only a few have mustered enough courage to venture out to watch a movie. The Covid-19 pandemic hit theatres hard and they were shut for over seven months. Finally, in the beginning of October, the government, under its Unlock 5.0 guidelines, allowed theatres outside the containment zones to open from October 15. The government also issued a fresh standard operating procedure and all multiplexes and single-screen operators were required to adhere to it.

Although the cinema halls have reopened, the audience seems to be thin. Fortune India visited a few such theatres and was greeted with scattered crowds, empty corridors, and vacant seats. It wouldn't be too far-fetched to say that it seemed like a scene plucked out from a post-apocalyptic movie.

An empty ticketing counter at a cinema hall in Greater Noida as a lone moviegoer looks on.

One is greeted by an empty corridor at a multiplex in Greater Noida.

Theatres have been asked to adhere to a strict standard operating procedure and follow safety guidelines.

Strict protocols to maintain social distancing have been put in place.

An empty food counter at a multiplex in Greater Noida.

Fumigation and sanitisation being carried out at a multiplex in Greater Noida.

Although it has only been four days since theatres have reopened, the response from the audience has been poor.

It remains to be seen how multiplexes and single -screen theatres financially recover from the pandemic.

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Photograph : Narendra Bisht