Eastern India Motion Picture Association appeals Mamata Banerjee to resume cinema shows with full occupancy

KOLKATA: The Eastern India Motion Picture Association through an official letter appealed to the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to resume cinema theatres with 100 percent occupancy.

Cinema halls in the state are currently running at 50 per cent of their occupancy in view of the coronavirus crisis in the country.

In the letter to the CM on Tuesday, the President of the association, Piya Sengupta stated that the current practice of film screenings is causing a “huge financial crisis,” to the cinema hall owners.

“Madam, during the last phase of unlock your Government, has allowed the cinema hall owners to operate their business from 15 October, 2020 with 50 per cent occupancy to maintain the rules and protocols to combat the spread of the disease for the safety of health of cine-goers,” Sengupta wrote.

“The necessary SOP issued by the authority to run the cinema shows was appropriately followed. The cinema hall owners however sustained a huge financial crisis by way of such compliance with the Government directives on limited occupancy as narrated herein,” she added.

The association also cited a recent notification by the Tamil Nadu government wherein, the government increased the sitting capacity of cinemas from the existing 50 percent to 100 percent.

Sengupta stated how Bengali and Hindi films in the pipeline are not being released leading to financial loss to cinema hall owners.

“The cinema hall owners are suffering huge losses as no new banner Bengali/Hindi hints are releasing due to the occupancy restrictions,” the letter read.

“If the occupancy of cine-goers is relaxed several Bengali/Hindi films waiting in the pipeline will be released and the exhibitors may be benefited and will be able to get a chance to survive,” Sengupta wrote in the letter.

The letter ended with the association assuring that there have been no reports of the spread of the coronavirus through the way of screening of films in cinema halls in the country.