Mumbai: Many cinema theatres across the nation are closing their doors permanently as they continue to struggle to survive due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The single-screen theatres have been without business for over 18 months now due to Covid-induced lockdown and the financial struggle to upkeep continues. Innumerable small cinemas were on the verge of closing down. For decades before multiplex cinemas came along, India had tens of thousands of single-screen movie houses. Some were large enough to seat 1,000 people. Fans flocked there to catch first-runs and reruns of old classics. The number of single-screen cinemas across India dwindled from about 10,000 to less than 7,000. Several exhibitors have announced their shutting this year after India’s deadly second wave of coronavirus infections.
Maharashtra, the state worst affected by the coronavirus disease, moved to impose restrictions and shut down cinema halls, theatres and multiplexes for public access until further notice to bring the surging viral infection rate under control. High taxation, especially in the state, where Mumbai is the capital, has also been a burden. According to a 2018 report by the Producers Guild of India, cinema owners were taxed at a rate of more than 100% in some states. In the last two years, Mumbai had witnessed the closure of single-screeners Chitra at Dadar and the iconic Eros cinema, a stunning art-deco structure, opposite Churchgate railway station. And it’s been years since the curtains fell on the gorgeously upholstered Naaz, Apsara, Novelty, Shalimar, Minerva and Swastik in close proximity to one another in south Bombay.
The Indian film industry has once again come to a halt due to the second wave of Covid-19. Filmmakers who had previously firmly stated their film’s release dates had been forced to alter their plans due to the current economic scenario. On weekends and evenings, the movie theatres are closed, with the remaining performances being attended by a tiny number of spectators. Some of the high-profile films that have been stranded in theatres because of Covid-19. Big budget Bollywood films are stuck due to the pandemic.
There are some of the high-profile films that have been stranded in theatres because of Covid-19. Thalaivi’s producers have released a formal statement announcing the project’s postponement. Originally scheduled to open on 23 April 2021, the film has been postponed indefinitely. Kangana Ranaut has been confirmed to star in the movie, which will be distributed in various other dialects. The makers of “Sooryavanshi” have said that the film’s release has indeed been postponed based on the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Previously, the movie was planned to open in cinemas on 30 April. The film stars Akshay Kumar, Ranveer Singh, and Katrina Kaif. Rohit Shetty, the film’s director, characterized the decision to postpone the premiere as “incredibly brave and difficult”. Gangubai Kathiawadi is one of the year’s most anticipated films. The distribution of this high-budget movie was unexpectedly suspended due to the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. According to recent sources, fresh dates have been revealed. On 30 July, the film will be released in Hindi and Telugu. Furthermore, it is questionable whether the official launch date is still legitimate. The most recent update on Gangubai Kathiawadi is that Bhansali is considering an OTT launch if all other distribution channels are shut down due to the virus’s impact.
Filming of films and serials should be done with due regard to the health norms of Covid. No negligence can be tolerated in this, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said. He suggested that people should be tested for Covid-19 regularly and vaccinated. The Chief Minister on Saturday interacted with the office bearers of the Producers Guild, the largest body of filmmakers, through a television system. At this time, these office bearers testified that the filming will be completed by following the instructions of the state government regarding Covid.
The meeting was attended by Riteish Sidhwani, Stuti Ramchandra, Madhu Bhojwani, Rakesh Mehra and Nitin Ahuja of the Producers Guild, a leading organization of Hindi filmmakers. Similarly, Subodh Bhave, Nagraj Manjule, Ravi Jadhav also participated in the meeting and gave suggestions. Aadesh Bandekar moderated the meeting. The meeting was also attended by Additional Chief Secretary to the Chief Minister Ashish Kumar Singh and Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Vikas Kharge. For the past few months, producers of Hindi and Marathi films and serials have been filming during the corona period, but there is a need to increase the shooting time.