Milap Zaveri, writer-director: “Movie theatres must open because the losses the industry is suffering are terrible. Exhibitors, distributors, cinema owners, lakhs of employees, producers etc. are suffering near-bankruptcy. Also if restaurants, flights, gyms, metro, hotels, religious places etc can re-open in India why not cinemas? One can easily follow safety measures in a cinema especially while facing one direction looking at the screen. Moreover, audiences are starved for the big screen experience. They will rush back to see films, as Tenet has proven overseas. I myself want to see films in a cinema again. It’s high-time they re-open cinemas, or a lot of them won’t recover from this closure. I can’t wait to watch a film on the big screen again. And I have full faith when a mass entertainer like Sooryavanshi releases audiences will flock to cinema.
Suneel Darshan (filmmaker): “Movie theatres are essentially for the recreational facilities and relaxation that it provides to the Nation's multitudes... also, don't forget that while TV/satellite/digital platforms provide content-viewing, it's the unique 'Cinema-experience' that is enjoyed in the theatres. The huge audience turnout for Christopher Nolan's TENET in several countries indicates that the viewers are eagerly awaiting the re-opening of the movie theatres.”
Roshan Singh (film exhibitor, Patna Bihar): “Our family has been in the film exhibition business for three generations. My grandfather would see every film on Friday evening with the audience in our theatre Ashok in Patna until he passed away at 90. My uncle who is in his 70s treated our theatre in Patna like his own temple. I grew up in the theatre. Life without movies on the big screen for me is no life at all. I hate watching films on the OTT and phone. I avoid it as much as possible, although my 4-year-old son sometimes forces me to watch some films on the home screen. Cinema for me is a large-screen experience. I can’t wait for movie theatres to open.”
Trade analyst Girish Johar: “The pandemic has given a humongous blow to the film industry and especially the exhibition sector has been hit very hard. Huge losses of not only box office revenues but also of jobs and livelihood have been affected. As per estimates we have already lost around 12-15% running screens and they may never be up again. This is a sad scenario as any which ways we are a very under-screened country as per world standards. So this adds to our woes. The cinemas across the country employs almost 20 million people across roles, be it directly or indirectly. This machinery is stuck. We need to ensure that the Indian government gives the approval for movie theaters to re-open so that these employees, dependent on cinema industry, do get a chance to earn their livings at least. Further, allied activities like mall and food businesses also do get a jump. At least, the GST is also collected which will help the Government with revenues. Finally, films at cinemas are the entertainment lifeline of our nation, keeping the safety protocols in minds, we need to remove the clog from the wheel and try to start doing business. Further, even globally cinemas have opened with releases like Unhinged and Tenet doing comfortably well at the box office, it is pretty clear that the movie buffs want to come back to theatres to enjoy their big screen experience.”
Atul Mohan (trade analyst): “Why not when other business activities are getting permissions to open up? The losses that the movie-theatre business suffers for each additional day that we remain closed is beyond any calculation.”
Shibasish Sarkar, CEO of Reliance Entertainment: “Over a period of last few months I have been vociferous along with many for cinemas to open. Now that it's finally happening there's reason to rejoice.”
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