Multiplexes and theatres will reopen in Maharashtra from October 22 as the state government has eased curbs amid a drop in COVID-19 cases. The details on the seating capacity and standard operating procedure are yet to be announced by the state government.
The entertainment sector, which provides jobs to lakhs of people, has been severely affected since the onset of the pandemic and nationwide lockdown in March last year.
The Multiplex Association of India (MIA) along with multiplex giants like PVR and INOX had earlier requested the state government to reopen theatres on an ''urgent basis'' as they have already suffered losses to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore. Posts with #UnlockCinemaSaveJobs flooded Twitter.
Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar's Bellbottom was the first Hindi film to release in theatres since March last year.
Maharashtra, which recorded the highest number of COVID-19 cases, has gradually begun to ease restrictions on the back of vaccination.
Apart from theatres, parks, beaches and restaurants have also reopened in the state.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray-led government has also announced the reopening of all religious places from October 7 in the state with COVID-19 protocols whereas schools would reopen from October 4.
Classes will resume for students of Classes 5 to 12 in rural areas. In urban areas, students of Classes 8 to 12 can attend offline classes. This rule applies to both government and private schools across education boards.
On Saturday, Maharashtra reported 3,276 new coronavirus infections and 58 fatalities, the state health department said. It took the tally of COVID-19 cases in the state to 65,41,119, and death toll to 1,38,834.