How closing of theatres has impacted the Indian economy

India is a country that is obsessed with movies. This obsession has turned Bollywood into a multi-billion dollar industry. It’s also a source of livelihood for millions across the nation. However, the once prosperous industry has hit a low due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While theatres have been allowed to open in certain parts of the country, the fact that they’d been shut since mid March has impacted the film industry adversely. The resumption of theatres comes with certain restrictions including a maximum of 50% occupancy. Usually, this is the time when the year’s biggest releases hit the screens, given the country is in a festive mood due to Diwali. However, with the threat of the virus still looming large, production houses are uncertain if people will show up to watch movies on the big screen. Just a few weeks ago, multiplex owners had said that they’ve suffered losses worth $1.2 billion in ticket sales. The cascading effect of zero box-office returns has brought the industry, that usually sells over 2 billion tickets annually, to a grinding halt.

CEO Alok Tandon of Inox Leisure Ltd stated in an interview that his company will make use of technology to ensure minimum person-to-person contact. He said, “There will be a lot of focus on the digital way of life going forward. We will completely rely on e-tickets instead of paper tickets. Each guest will receive an all-in-one SMS, which will allow them to locate seats, check in with QR codes, access food and beverage menu and download the complete e-ticket.”

So far, it’s been confirmed that Kabir Khan’s ’83 will have a Christmas release. Makers of Akshay Kumar’s Sooryavanshi are eyeing a republic day release next year.

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