"There has been no report on the spread of the pandemic by way of screening of films in cinema halls in and around the country since the time the halls reopened," the letter signed by Eastern India Motion Pictures Association (EIMPA) president Piya Sengupta said. She said theatre owners are suffering huge losses as no new Bengali or Hindi films are being released due to the occupancy restrictions.
The theatre owners also send letter to her saying that they have suffered huge losses while complying with the rule of 50 per cent occupancy in cinemas since the reopening of the establishments in the third week of October. "If the occupancy restrictions are relaxed, several Bengali and Hindi movies waiting in the pipeline will be released and exhibitors may be benefited and get a chance to survive," the letter read. The letter referred to a notification issued by the Tamil Nadu government, which allowed full occupancy in cinemas with adherence to the COVID-19 protocol.
The Tamil Nadu government has revoked its earlier order permitting 100% occupancy in cinema halls and theatres. However, the State allowed additional shows. The development came days after the State administration faced lots of criticism for its decision to allow 100 per occupancy. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) wrote to Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary asserting that the state's permission was a violation of MHA guidelines and asked it to comply with the Ministry's norm, which is to allow only 50 per cent.
After all the developments, the State today issued a new government order scrapping the earlier one on 100 per cent theatre occupancy. Only 50 per cent occupancy will be permitted as per the new order, till further notice as per Centre directive.