Tricity’s cinema halls to reopen today but without new releases

After a long wait, cinema halls are finally set to reopen in the tricity on Thursday after an almost seven-month hiatus in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

While most theatres will start screening films from Friday, Cinépolis’ Fun Republic (Manimajra) will reopen on Thursday. The cinemas will strictly adhere to the standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by the Union ministry of information and broadcasting.

However, movie buffs will have to wait longer for Cinépolis-owned theatres in TDI Jagat Mall (Sector 17) and Bestech Mall (Mohali) to reopen. Officials said the Sector-17 cinema will open by the month-end. There is no word on the opening of the Bestech Mall cinema.

Those waiting to watch ‘PM Narendra Modi’ starring Vivek Anand Oberoi, which was to be re-released in theatres come October 15, or Christopher Nolan’s new film ‘Tenet’ will have to be patient as cinemas will initially be screening older hits (2018 to March 2020) first.

There are six shows scheduled at Fun Republic for Thursday. The movies being screened include Bloodshot, which was released in March 2020; Chal Mera Putt released that was released in July 2019; and Malang, which was released in February 2020. Officials say new releases including ‘My Spy’, starring Dave Bautista, will be screened soon.

PVR Cinemas will start screening movies from Friday, as per a statement issued by CEO Gautam Dutta. As per the listing on their website, they will be screening six English and Hindi movies but none of them will be new releases. New movies will be screened next week.

As per the online ticket booking website BookMyShow, bookings are only available at PVR Centra Mall (Industrial Area) and PVR City Centre (IT Park) in the tricity. Officials from VR Punjab Mall in Zirakpur said they will reopen on Friday.

Slow opening

Though bookings opened on BookMyShow around noon on Wednesday, most seats hadn’t been booked till the evening. Only two to three seats had been booked for movies to be screened on Friday, while no bookings had been made for Thursday.

Single-screen theatres will not open immediately. Manager of Neelam Cinema, Sector 17, SK Sharma, said, “We will observe people’s response before reopening. Some renovation work is also underway in front of the theatre. We plan to reopen once the work is over.”

Packaged popcorn

As per the SOP, only packaged food will be allowed in the theatre, but cinephiles need not fret as they will still be able to purchase popcorn and other sundry food items. A senior PVR Cinemas official said, “Food items such as popcorn will be packaged. All food items that were being sold earlier will be available. However, food will not be delivered inside the hall.”

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