The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday announced that standalone theatres and multiplexes will have to operate at 50% occupancy. The revised guidelines were announced as a part of the state government’s revised guidelines in the wake of a spike in Covid-19 cases in the state.
The guidelines have mandated 50% seating capacity in restaurants and tea shops, recreation clubs, entertainment and amusement parks, zoological parks, museums, and shopping malls. On Wednesday, 3,986 people in Tamil Nadu tested positive for Covid-19, while Chennai accounted for the highest numbers in the state with 1,459 positive cases.
While the revised guidelines are applicable from Saturday, Dhanush‘s upcoming Tamil period film Karnan, helmed by filmmaker Mari Selvaraj and produced by Kalaippuli S Thanu, is scheduled for a theatrical release on Friday.
Karnan will release as per schedule and the reduced occupancy will not affect the film’s release, Kalaippuli wrote on Twitter. Seeking support from the audience, the producer assured that the film will be screened in theatres following safety precautions. Some theatres announced that while bookings will not be changed for Friday, there will be a revised schedule for Saturday and Sunday.
50% restrictions only from April 10th (Saturday). No changes for tomorrow. Bookings will be closed now for Saturday and Sunday before a new schedule is published later today. Please be patient, will keep you posted!
— Umaa Rajendra Cinemas (@UmaaRajendra) April 8, 2021
Watch 6AM show with cast and crew at #FansFortRohini
— Rohini SilverScreens (@RohiniSilverScr) April 8, 2021
Tamil Nadu Theatre and Multiplex Owners’ Association president Tirupur Subramaniam expressed his disappointment over the state government’s decision and told Silverscreen India that theatres might be forced to shut down.
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the consequent nationwide lockdown in 2020, theatres were shut down across the country from March the same year. In January 2021, the Tamil Nadu government had allowed theatres to run at 100% occupancy, ahead of the release of Vijay-starrer Master.