When Will Movie Theatres Open?

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Bisnu Sharma-Kathmandu
As coronavirus pandemic started infecting people in Nepal, the government was forced to lockdown the entire country in 22nd of June. Eight separate spells of lockdows have since been inflicted in the country, many people are wondering when will movie theatres re-open.

The transmission rate of Covid-19 is increasing day by day, that’s why there is no go ahead for movie theaters in coming months. Some analyst says, till 6 months, movie industry will stay under lockdown.

“We have been preparing ourselves, as per the government directives. We will be instituting temperature checks at all entrances and setting up protocols for maintaining social distancing such as a safe distance of minimum 1 meter from other customers’ Nikesh Dwa, owner of the Mid-town Galleria multiplex in Pokhara said.

He said that they are ready to open the hall even after tomorrow as per the government protocol.

Adding, “We will remain completely respectful towards the concerns of our guests, and also understand that their faith and confidence in our preparedness on preventive measures will play a key role towards the same. We are looking at the “new normal” soon going back to the “old normal” which resembles gangs of friends and families turning up in huge numbers, heavy hustle and bustle in the lobbies, and the loud cheers in the auditoriums.”

Movie director Dipendra Lama says, movie industry will get back in normal situation after 6 months. ‘By keeping social distance and hygiene maintain, theaters need to be open’ he said to MM, ‘we have to open the hall with screening some small budget movies because there won’t be big movies right now.’

Mr Lama informed that he will get back in shooting floor after situation came to normal. Lama directorial movie ‘2 Numbari’ has been halted since lockdown imposed in 11 Chaitra, 2076.

Some of the key measures which need to follows at the theaters :

Hygiene-related measures

Encourage paperless transactions for ticket booking and food ordering.
Check temperature of all employees, service partners and guests with non-invasive Thermo-Guns as they enter our premises.
Sanitizers stations at all the key locations and common areas.
Following rigorous cleaning and disinfecting procedures.
Areas with higher public exposure would be sanitized on an hourly basis.
Auditoriums would be sanitized after every show.
All surfaces in and around the food service areas will be disinfected regularly.
Deep cleaning of auditoriums would be carried out every day.
The teams would be asked to wear gloves and masks and will be asked to wash hands regularly.
Use of single use disposable packaging for F&B services.
PPE kits available for purchases, which would include a mask, a pair of gloves and a bottle of sanitizer

Social distancing measures :
Following distancing between the guests at the entrance using demarcations
Ensuring physical distancing, allot seats in a way that adjacent seats are left vacant for a group or a family.

Online booking modes will be programmed to allocate seats in that order. Movie shows will be scheduled in such a manner, that entry, intermissions and exits to two shows do not occur simultaneously, and avoid crowding of lobbies and restrooms.

What the coming few months look like for the multiplex industry

“Cinemas, since inception, have been the biggest contributors to the ‘experience economy’ for the past 100 years, and will continue to do so forever. There is no doubt that COVID-19 has challenged the passion for cinema which is prevalent in our country.

Cinema-lovers have remained under-served on entertainment for this period, and we know that they are yearning to step out, socialise and get entertained via their favorite entertainment medium, which is cinemas. We have complete faith that the same age-old passion of the movie lovers will make them come out in huge numbers and throng cinemas.

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