|Health workers celebrate with vaccine beneficiaries India administering 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine, at Rajawadi hospital in Mumbai, India on Oct 21, 2021. (Photo by= AP/Rajanish Kakade)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] MUMBAI: Movie theaters in India’s entertainment capital Mumbai reopened on Friday (Oct 22) after more than 18 months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, the last of the many virus restrictions to go amid a decline in infections, AP reported.
Theatres opened to half capacity, following the guidelines released last month, but struggled to lure the public back and mostly re-released earlier hits. Many shows were running with fewer audiences, movie ticketing portal BookMyShow showed. To minimize the danger of the virus, only those with COVID-19 vaccination certificates or with a “safe status” on the state-run health app will be allowed to enter the theatres. Masks and temperature checks are mandatory and no food or beverages will be allowed inside. Theatres elsewhere in the country are already running shows.
Every year, the US$2.8 billion industry produces more than 2,000 films. Bollywood’s success over the years has embedded moviegoing into India’s contemporary culture and been a boon for the economy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said India’s vaccine drive is an example of what it can achieve if the citizens and the government come together with a common goal. He said the milestone has silenced India’s critics. Modi also exhorted people to buy Indian-made goods to boost the economy, which is expected to gain from the festival season purchases.