Exhibitors unsure about staggered opening of theatres, say they are ready to wait

Along with low footfalls, theatre owners are worried that producers will not release films if theatres open at night and in green zones.

The government is considering letting malls and cinemas remain open at night in green zones. A final decision is awaited after the health ministry approves such a move.

While for mall owners in green zones, the idea of remaining open at night is lucrative, for cinema owners it is not a viable option.

"I am not sure if it is viable for most exhibitors. To run just a few shows at night, which would still be under some form of social distancing, all exhibitors would need to carry out a cost analysis before opening", said Rahul Puri, MD, Mukta A2 Cinemas, a cinema chain by Mukta Arts, a company founded by veteran filmmaker Subhash Ghai.

"Those who have fixed leases might find it a challenge. However, those who are on some form of revenue share or own their property may consider it if they can cut down on staff and operating costs," Puri added.

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