Theatres are reopening and here is the SOP for movie theaters. It includes guidelines for both movie goers and theater owners.
On Tuesday, October 6th, 2020, the Government of India issued a set of SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for reopening movie theatres and multiplexes in India.
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The SOP for movie theaters was released by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and must be followed strictly by all multiplexes and cinema halls. These SOPs for cinemas were tweeted by the I & B Minister Mr. Prakash Javadekar under the hashtag ‘UnlockWithPrecautions’.
Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the government decided to stop the functioning of these establishments from March 2020. According to the newly issued guidelines under Unlock 5 they have been permitted to reopen.
SOP For Movie Theaters – What You Need To Know
Movie theatres and multiplexes can resume their operations beginning from the 10th of October 2020. The new guidelines permit multiplexes and cinema halls to function with a seating capacity of 50%.
The New Guidelines In General
The following are the new set of SOP’s issued by the government for cinemas and the audiences.
- Thermal screening of staff and audience at entry points
- Only those who are asymptomatic will be permitted entry
- One-seat distance to be maintained
- Only 50% seating allowed in the auditoriums
- Seats must be marked
- Marked with fluorescent markers or taped
- Alternate seats must be left vacant
- Social distancing
- Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet outside the hall
- Masks to be worn throughout
- Cinemas should make provisions for washing hands
- Hand sanitizers to be kept at the entry/exits
- Arogya Setu App to be installed and used
- Provide personal mobile numbers to trace ‘contacts’
- Strict action against stigmatization related to Coronavirus
- Punishment against unruly behavior
Rules Regarding Food And Beverages
The following are the new set of guidelines regarding the purchase and consumption of food and beverages at the movies.
- Avoid roaming around during the intermission
- Food and beverages won’t be delivered inside the hall
- Food counters to be increased
- This is to avoid lengthy queues
- Permits only the sale of packaged beverages and food
Purchasing Movie Tickets
I&B Ministry has issued the following guidelines for buying movie tickets.
- Counters at the movie theatres to remain open
- Increase the number of counters
- Counters to remain open all through the day
- Encourage digital payment methods
- Booking in advance permitted to prevent over-crowding
- Seats that are to be left vacant will be marked clearly during the booking
- Applicable for both online and offline booking
- Floor markers to manage queues
- To maintain physical distance as well
- Online bookings to be encouraged to avoid contact
SOP For Movie Theaters – Additional Changes
There are a few more additional changes to be included by movie theatres and multiplexes besides the ones mentioned above.
- Regular sanitization of the cinema halls and multiplexes
- The box-office as well as the surrounding areas must be sanitized at regular intervals
- Staggered show timings
- This is to avoid overcrowding before and after shows
- Ensure no overcrowding in washrooms and lobbies during intermissions
- Encourage the people to avoid moving unnecessarily during breaks
- The temperature of Air conditioners inside the halls to be set between 24 and 30 degree Celsius
- Regular announcements on physical distancing, hand sanitization and hygiene, and wearing masks
- Announcement before/after shows and in between breaks
- Provision for longer breaks during intermission
- This can help audiences to move in a staggered way
- For staggered entry and exit, the audience should be given enough time
- Both before and after the show
The commencement, interval, and the conclusion of a movie should not overlap with any other movie played at another screen within a multiplex.
Advertisements on safety norms for the Coronavirus and actions against those who fail to stick by these norms will also be played regularly before and after the movie shows.
Theatres Reopening – States Can Take The Final Decision
Since cinemas come under the control of the state governments they have the authority to assess the current situations before deciding to reopen.
Theatres in Maharashtra and Delhi will remain closed for the time being. More than half of the moviegoers are from these places.
Permissions have been granted by certain states including Karnataka, Goa, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and West Bengal to reopen the movie theatres and multiplexes. However, the fear of the COVID 19 pandemic still lingers and this could stop the audience from going to the movies.
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