Sources said the Union ministry of information and broadcast has recommended the resumption of film exhibition and this is being favourably considered by the ministry of home affairs (MHA), which is preparing the guidelines for Unlock 3.0.
Besides theatres and multiplexes, other services which have remained shut since mid-March are educational institutions, Metro rail, gymnasiums, swimming pools, liquor consumption at pubs and bars. The government was positively looking at reopening these services early this month, but had to put the plan on hold as confirmed Covid-19 cases in the state have been rising at an alarming rate in the past 3-4 weeks.
“We are getting clear signals that the government would green-light the proposal of lifting the ban on film screening in theatres as the industry is completely prepared to comply with the new normal of social distancing and other norms post Covid-19,” said Pramod Arora, CEO of PVR Cinemas.
The state government, whose focus is on striking a balance between the operations to rein in the Covid-19 pandemic and revive the economy, is said to be open to the idea if the Centre gave its nod.
Chief minister BS Yediyurappa on Friday made it clear to a delegation of multiplex owners that his government was in favour of resumption of all activities of the film industries, including production and exhibition.
‘Theatres ready to resume screening’
The CM has, in principle, agreed to allow film screening . Now, we have to wait for the Centre’s guidelines,” said Uday Garudachar, BJP MLA and owner of Garuda Mall.
While the industry is jubilant, the dampener is the likely chances of restricting the occupancy in theatres to 25% of their capacity. “Owners of all 615 single-screen theatres are ready to resume film exhibition. But it is the government’s responsibility to address business concerns of the industry. We expect a special financial package,” said KV Chandrashekhar, president of Karnataka Film Exhibitors Association.