India News

Delhi Govt’s Decision to Shut Cinemas Could Lead to Irreparable Damage: Multiplex Association of India

Kamal Gianchandani, President of the Multiplex Association of India (MAI), made an appeal to the Delhi government on Tuesday to reconsider the decision to shut down theatres in the state, noting that it could lead to “irreparable damage.”


Earlier on Tuesday, the Delhi government announced a yellow alert in the city in the wake of the spike in Covid-19 cases. It ordered cinema halls and multiplexes to be closed, along with other restrictions.

In his statement, Gianchandani wrote, “Delhi Government’s decision to shut down cinemas in Delhi while enforcing the ‘yellow’ alert of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) has caused massive uncertainty and could lead to irreparable damage for the Indian film industry.”

“The period since March 2020 is undeniably the most challenging period faced by Indian cinemas in their long history,” the statement continued. “After being allowed to reopen, cinemas have already demonstrated an ability to operate safely for the public and employees via usage of enhanced ventilation systems, enhanced hygiene, and other safety protocols. Not a single outbreak of Covid-19 anywhere around the world has been traced to a cinema.”

Following the second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak in April, theatres in Delhi were completely shut down. When they re-opened in July, cinema halls were only allowed to function at 50% seating capacity. Theatres in the national capital were later allowed to operate at full seating capacity from October.

“While we fully understand the need at Government’s end, to take necessary preventive measures, we would request that cinemas should get equal treatment with comparable industries and institutions,” the MAI’s statement further added.

“Instead of closing the cinemas, we would urge the Delhi Government to consider introducing ‘double vaccination requirement’ to enter cinemas, as is the case in some of the other states (including Maharashtra). Alternatively, the seating capacity restriction of 50% can be reintroduced at cinemas. We call on the Government to recognise the unique social, cultural and economic value of the Indian film industry, and to provide the support it so desperately needs to survive this unprecedented period,” the statement concluded.


Following the Delhi government’s decision, the makers of Shahid Kapoor-starrer Jersey announced that the film will not release on Friday as scheduled. The government order is also likely to affect earnings of films currently running in theatres like 83Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Pushpa.

It is yet to be seen whether the makers of the much-awaited RRR stick to the planned release date of January 7, a week ahead of the Sankranti festival.