#UnlockCinemaSaveJobs: Yash and Sayantika want cinema halls to reopen for THIS reason

Tollywood recently joined the nationwide appeal to the government for the reopening of cinema halls using the hashtag #UnlockCinemaSaveJobs. Keeping in mind the exponential rise in the number COVID-19 cases in the country, the government’s Unlock 4 guidelines have not allowed cinema chains to operate as yet. We spoke to actors Sayantika Banerjee and Yash to understand why they think it’s high time that cinema halls reopened.

The Multiplex Association of India released a statement, which was shared by cinema hall owners, film distributors and artists.

When even gyms are open now, why can’t cinema halls be? If you go out, you’ll see that things are steadily getting back on track. People have adapted to the new normal and I don’t think the opening of cinema halls will make much of a difference. Every sector is expected to follow a basic set of rules and I’m sure cinema halls will follow those. Seats per show should be limited and the entry and exit should be systematic so as to avoid crowding. I want to get back to theatres not only as an artist but also as a member of the audience. It’s been far too long a wait for the film fraternity and cinema operators. It’s imperative that the government takes a note of it. After all, the movie exhibition sector provides for the livelihood of thousands of people.

— Sayantika Banerjee

It’s been seven months that cinema halls are closed. We are in Unlock 4, as a part of which, malls, restaurants, gyms, hotels and bars are open but cinema halls are not. There are thousands of people who earn their livelihood from this industry and I’m not just talking about the artists. Exhibitors, technicians, junior technicians and many others are a part of the industry. In our state, single screens are already on ventilation and if this continues, then there will be no saving them. Rather than faking tears on social media after a single screen downs its curtains, it’s better if we take the initiative and stand firm by them. Like all other sectors, I’m sure people our industry, too, will abide by all the SOPs. Cinema halls should be given a chance to survive.

—Yash