India’s largest multiplex chain PVR Cinemas will reopen July 30 across the country, wherever the Ministry of Home Affairs has allowed a relaxation in COVID-19 restrictions.
All PVR staff are fully vaccinated. The cinemas will reopen with a Hollywood slate including “Mortal Kombat,” “The Suicide Squad,” “Promising Young Woman,” “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” and “Old” in the first three weeks of reopening. The pipeline for August also includes “F9,” “The Croods: A New Age” and “Nobody.”
PVR began closing in late March when the most recent, deadly wave of COVID-19 hit India.
The chain will reopen in 14 territories in India, including Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka, and in Colombo, Sri Lanka. PVR currently operates a cinema circuit of 842 screens at 176 properties in 71 cities in India and Sri Lanka. 526 screens across 111 properties will reopen. The rest of the reopening will be in a staggered manner as and when regional administrations allow.
In India, the cinemas will adhere to the safety and hygiene standard operating procedures prescribed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. These include chequered seating with only 50% occupancy as per government protocols, social distancing-marked queuing, digital contact-less transactions, operating 50% of the restroom facilities, installation of fibre and glass shields and ULV sanitization processes.
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In the first week of reopening, PVR is introducing a jab offer where a vaccinated ticket holder can get another free ticket and one F&B combination with the purchase of another. The chain also offers entire screens to be booked by a single group in a bubble.
Ajay Bijli, chair and MD for PVR Ltd, said: “Post-second wave, our key focus has been on ensuring 100% vaccinations of our staff for their own well-being as well as patrons. We are excited to re-open and the slate for this year looks promising. The strategy is to showcase maximum content across screens to meet the pent-up demand. So, with big-ticket Bollywood and regional films awaiting announcement by producers and internationally released Hollywood content as cinemas open up post the second wave, we expect the moviegoing habits to return among patrons. The focus now will be to encourage vaccination alongside introducing our new offerings as we begin to win back the confidence of our audience back to big screen entertainment.”
India reported 43,509 new cases in the last 24 hours, per official government figures. There are currently 403,840 active cases. More than 450 million doses of vaccines have been administered so far.
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