As PVR Cinemas and other movie theatres reopen for public under the fifth phase of the ongoing Unlock, with the required COVID-19 related restrictions in place, we analyse as to how this pandemic will change your experience in the new normal. By Kumar Shree

After a gap of nearly seven months, movie theatres in the country are finally reopening with a new set of rules and regulations to prevent the Coronavirus outbreak. Since the world is still far from winning its war against the pandemic, the government has chalked out its conditions for such reopenings. For starters, only those theatres can resume service, that do not lie in any COVID-19 containment zones.

 

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Let’s sum up how visiting a cinema hall will look like from now on.

  • Tickets, food, and beverages will preferably be booked digitally. However, the option to buy offline will still be available.
  • The adequate number of booking counters will be opened throughout the day to avoid crowding.
  • Cinema halls will also allow the advance booking option to disseminate the crowd.
  • A safety kit with a mask, hand sanitiser and gloves will be available for purchase. These will come at three different prices of INR 30, 40 and 50.
  • Cinemagoers will have to undergo thermal screening, wear a mask and adhere to the social distancing norms at all times.
  • Auditoriums will have an alternate seating arrangement, and the AC temperature will range between 24 to 30-degree Celsius.
  • Those with a body temperature above normal won’t be allowed entry and will be provided a full refund.
  • Even the cinema staff will have to wear a mask, face shield and gloves at all times.
  • Everyone will be required to maintain a distance of a minimum of six feet in all common areas outside the auditorium.
  • The government has also advised all individuals to install the Aarogya Setu app on their phone.
  • Cinema halls will be required to use designated queue markers to ensure proper social distancing during entry and exit of the crowd.

 

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  • They will also have to ensure row-wise staggered entry and exit for the audience, and slot shows in gaps, so as to carry all these measures properly.
  • No cinema halls will be allowed to sell more than 50 per cent of their seats for any show.
  • In order to avoid confusion, ‘Not to be occupied’ seats will be marked on the online booking page, and fluorescent tapes will be put on these seats to prevent anyone from occupying them.
  • The authorities will have to ensure that the start, intermission, and finish timings of any of the two shows don’t coincide at any point.
  • Longer interval durations might also be introduced to allow staggered movement of the public.
  • Thorough sanitisation of the entire theatre after every screening, and frequent sanitisation of all common areas and touchpoints, will be done regularly.
  • All the staff members will be provided the required safety equipment, such as, gloves, boots, masks and PPE kits.
  • Public service announcement related to safety measures will be done before, during (intermission) and after the screening.
  • All the establishments will be required to strictly comply with the National Directives for COVID-19 Management and all other relevant guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, state governments and any other relevant body.

Related: #SomeGoodNews: Berlin Transforms Its Neighbourhoods Into Open-Air Cinemas