Inox Theatres in Kolkata conducted a trial run on Tuesday to ensure that all the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were met before they re-open.
As theatre halls and multiplexes in the city gear up to open their doors on October 15 as part of Unlock 5 by the Central government, Inox has adopted a range of precautions that have to be followed by theatres once they resume operations.
Some of the SOPs that were issued by the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry include compulsory thermal screening, vacancy of adjacent seats, floor markers at counters to ensure social distancing, and availability of PPE kits for purchase.
“The SOPs are simple and audience-friendly, and will ensure that the overall cinema viewing experience is safe and reliable,” says Amitava Guha Thakurta, regional director at INOX (east).
Since the Covid-19 pandemic is still a major threat, cinema-goers have been encouraged to opt for digital transactions. QR scanners for food ordering and disposable packaging have been strongly advised by the government.
Apart from following government-issued guidelines, Inox has taken a slew of measures, including sanitising touch points like door knobs and counters. They have also decided to discard paper ticketing. They have come up with all-in-one SMS booking confirmation that allows its customers to access four links to avail their various services including contactless ordering and collection of food.
The multiplex has also announced a new feature to maintain social distancing, allowing families and small gatherings to have private screenings of films of their choice.
“We are completely geared up and prepared for the new normal, which would assign topmost priority to safety and hygiene,” Guha Thakurta said.
The Central government’s decision to reopen theatres and multiplexes on September 30 came as a major relief to the industry which was experiencing major losses as they were shut down for a period of six months due to the lockdown.