Multiplex Association, FICCI release safety plan for theatres to restart

It is a 12-point agenda to keep multiplexes disinfected and clean

MUMBAI: Multiplex Association of India (MAI) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) have come up with detailed 12-point safety and enhanced precaution plan to be adopted by cinema halls. They have submitted the proposal to the ministry of information and broadcasting and various state governments. With India opening up for business slowly from the Covid2019 lockdown, it is expected that cinema halls and multiplexes may open up with a lot of restrictions.

Movie critic-film trade analyst Taran Adarsh tweeted: “Multiplex association of India submits enhanced safety and precautions plan for cinemas to information & broadcasting ministry and various state governments.” Terming it as a very important development, he shared a detailed layout of how multiplexes will focus more on the safety of cinema lovers.

The association urges cine-goers to follow the social distancing rules and have minimal human contact. They will also have to ensure that they are doing everything in their capacity to maintain strict hygiene levels.

In order to keep multiplexes disinfected and clean, the association points out that theatre staff has to disinfect all areas, including ticket counter, security area, lobby, auditorium, food and beverage stand, restrooms, and even exit doors.

While maintaining social distancing, multiplexes should check the body temperature of each person with infrared scanners, to make the wearing of masks compulsory in the premises. PPE kits will also be made available for purchase and hand sanitizers placed at all strategic locations.

Digital transactions will be encouraged at the ticket counter. And, film enthusiasts will also be required to stand in demarcated circles at all times within the premises. Similarly, cine-goers will be urged to order food items digitally at the theatre, and the theatre should only sell single-use disposable packaging for food and drinks. Premium theatres will serve using proper cutlery and crockery.

The association explains that families, groups, and couples will be seated together as per global cinema standards. However, one adjacent seat will be left empty as a precautionary social distancing measure in ordinary theatres. However, no seats will be left empty at luxury auditoriums as the reclining seats already have enough gap between them, the guidelines point out.

Besides normal cleaning, the staff will be required to deep clean seats and all the frequently used locations at the theatre on a daily basis. Moreover, the staff will also have to wear masks and gloves at all times during working hours. They also will have to download the Aarogya Setu app on a mandatory basis.

Sanitization and disinfectants that will be used to clean the theatre and its surroundings will be purchased only from authenticated suppliers. Film enthusiasts will be encouraged to use alternate urinals.

To increase the awareness among the viewers, all precautionary measures will be promoted through various mediums inside the cinema hall. The staff will have to be swift and efficient in managing the crowd and detecting possible cases. And, the use of single-use, 3D glasses will be promoted.

With the aim of keeping cinemas safe for India, the association states that the aforementioned stringent precautions will be implemented for the first two months from the day operation resumes. Post two months, the situation will be reviewed and an appropriate decision will be taken accordingly.

It’s been almost two months now since cinema halls stopped operating. Many production houses have started releasing their films on OTT platforms. This has irked the multiplexes which are eager to restart the cinemas.

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