Bollywood stays away as Indian cinemas reopen after eight months – Reuters

All of Indias near-10,000 motion picture screens have stayed shut because the country imposed a stringent lockdown in March this year, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi pushes for a progressive easing of measures, some states have actually allowed theatres to reopen, however at 50 per cent capability and with stringent curbs in location.
Cinema personnel invited back with flowers and vermilion the very first, reasonably few visitors who wore masks.
” It feels great … Everyone was bored sitting at house and it feels nice to come here,” stated Ramesh Gupta, who came to enjoy a movie in the northern Indian city of Prayagraj.

In the meantime, theatres are screening older films, including a biopic of Modi, which first released after his definite election victory in 2015.
Instead of waiting on theatres to open, numerous Bollywood production houses have actually rather offered motion pictures to streaming platforms such as Netflix, Disney and Amazons Prime Video, which have premiered numerous titles in the last few months.
” We are attempting to evaluate the waters, see if audiences will return. Once they do, ideally we will see new films launching,” Akshaye Rathi, a theatre owner who owns residential or commercial properties in the main states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, told Reuters.
For Indias coronavirus-battered theatre industry, deprived of Bollywood smash hits, analysts say more bleak months await.
” Many single-screen theatres will most likely never open, and we wont know the complete impact up until theatres actually do open,” said Shailesh Kapoor of Ormax, an agency that tracks Bollywood releases.

Reporting by Shilpa Jamkhandikar in Mumbai; Additional reporting by Sumit Khanna in Ahmedabad and Subrata NagChoudhary in Kolkata. Editing by Alasdair Pal, Shri Navaratnam and Gareth Jones

Bollywood is not releasing any new films to cinemas in the meantime despite the upcoming festival season, when ticket sales usually peak and audiences flock to theatres.
” Its a chicken and egg situation,” stated Shibasish Sarkar, CEO of Reliance Entertainment, which has two big-ticket movies waiting to be launched.
” We wont know if audiences will come unless we release a film, but the big concern is if those audiences are enough,” he said.

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Movie theatres in some parts of India opened for the very first time in 8 months on Thursday, but with no major Bollywood releases likely any time soon, beleaguered movie theater owners fret about whether audiences can be enticed back to the cinema.