MUMBAI: Tamil Nadu has become the first state in the country to allow movie screenings at a 100% capacity since lockdown.
In a major relief to the cinema exhibition sector, the Tamil Nadu government on Monday lifted the 50% cap on occupancy, which was in place since November last year, when the state first allowed the theatres to resume operations.
Other states, including Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat and others are allowing theatres to run with 50% capacity only. However, cinema owners are hopeful that after the Tamil Nadu government order, other states might follow suit and relax the seating restrictions.
Most of the states had allowed reopening of theatres from October 15th, with strict Covid-19 SOPs, after the industry remained shut for over seven months. However, in absence of big theatrical releases, a few movie buffs visited the theatres.
“We are thankful to the Tamil Nadu government for this welcome move and showing faith in the industry and its strong adherence to all the safety precautions. I hope other states will also allow us to run at full capacity, which will encourage filmmakers and distributors to release their films and attract patrons,” said a senior executive of a national multiplex chain.
Tamil Nadu government’s decision has come just a few days ahead of the release of actor Vijay’s upcoming movie, ‘Master’ on January 13.