By Joymala Bagchi
New Delhi [India], October 15 (ANI): As cinema halls in most parts of the country, including Delhi, reopened after a seven-month interval on Thursday, a multiplex in South Delhi restarted the screenings with Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior.
The audience in attendance: another set of warriors -- unsung, unknown. They are the modern-day warriors against the century's biggest threat to humanity -- the novel coronavirus.
The PVR Cinemas in Vasant Kunj had invited the COVID warriors -- doctors, healthcare, and sanitisation workers -- and their families for a special free screening of the Ajay Devgan-starrer 2020 release on Thursday.
Sachin, a health worker, while heading for the movie screening told ANI, "It feels really good to get invited for the first screening as a COVID warrior. This will definitely send a very positive message. Most importantly, all the safety measures are being followed diligently."
With the reopening of the theatres, the PVR has adopted many precautionary measures to make visitors feel safe, apart from maintaining stringent COVID-19 rules such as the mandatory wearing of masks and thermal scanning on the premises. Additionally, seats have alternate arrangements with stickers reading "not to be occupied".
Among other precautionary steps taken by the PVR are single-use 3-D glasses and refund of ticket money if an audience member has high body temperature. Besides, micro-shield films have been placed on door handles and food containers sterilised with UV technology.
Sanitisation worker S K Farid, who came with his family, said it feels "really good". "My children are very excited. Pandemic is ongoing but with adequate precautionary steps one can get back all the old feels."
Class 6 student Sagar, who too came with his family, said being part of this very special screening made him feel special.
Gautam Dutta, CEO of PVR Cinemas said he was pleased to have his customers back. "As we reopen slowly and steadily, ensuring the safety and security of our customers and employees is our highest priority. Currently, the focus is on building consumer confidence. The screening pipeline looks promising and we are working very hard to bring the most exciting content to our patrons in the following weeks."
The theatres will open with the 'Evangelism' phase where people would have the opportunity to experience the enhanced safety features first-hand.
The Union government has allowed multiplexes, cinema halls and theatres to reopen from October 15, adhering with guided Standard Operating Procedures. However, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has left it to the states to take a final call on the matter. (ANI)