Govt. responds to industry plea, allows 100% occupancy in cinemas for four weeks

A day after restricting seating capacity in cinemas to 50%, the State government on Wednesday responded to the Kannada film industry’s plea and permitted 100% occupancy for four weeks.

There is a rider, though — the decision will be revoked if COVID-19 cases go up because of protocol violations.

Announcing the decision after a meeting with members and the chairman of the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, and representatives of the Kannada film industry, Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar said though the decision was against the recommendations of the Technical Advisory Committee, it was taken considering the hardships faced by artistes, producers, and other workers.

Information and Public Relations Minister C.C. Patil said a Government Order and guidelines that need to be followed in theatres would be issued on Thursday. “Theatres can function with 100% occupancy from Friday,” he said.

“This meeting was held as per the directions of Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa. Exercising abundant caution with regard to COVID-19 and as per TAC recommendations, the Chief Secretary had issued a circular on Tuesday restricting seating to 50% in theatres. Although the Centre had allowed 100% occupancy, the States had been given powers to take a call depending on the prevailing situation in their jurisdiction,” Dr. Sudhakar said. “However, the film industry opposed this decision and requested us to reconsider it keeping in view the welfare of nearly one lakh people employed in the industry. They have also appealed to the Chief Minister to support them in these difficult times.”

Mr. Patil said owners of cinema halls should strictly adhere to guidelines and should ensure that filmgoers also follow them.


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Sagar Biswas

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