Mumbai, September 25: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday announced that cinema halls and drama theatres in the state will be allowed to operate from October 22 on the condition that they follow all the protocols required to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The standard operating procedure (SOPs) regarding cinema reopening is in the works and will be issued soon. Earlier in the day, filmmaker Rohit Shetty along with Jayantilal Gada of PEN Studios, and representative of multiplex owners met chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and discussed the theater reopening status and urged him for urgent action.
The announcement of cinema reopening in Maharashtra come as a major relief for the Bollywood film industry which is going through a tough phase due to the covid-19 pandemic. It is reported that Bollywood filmmakers are eyeing the Diwali 2021 release for some of their most anticipated films.
The persence of Rohit Shetty in the meeting with CM Uddhav Thackeray indicates that his directorial "Sooryavanshi" may release during the upcoming big festival season. "Sooryavanshi" starring Akshay Kumar has been on waiting mode since March 2022 and it has already been one and a half years since then.
Apart from "Sooryavanshi", Salman Khan and Aayush Sharma starrer "Antim: The Final Truth", and Ayushmann Khurrana's "Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui" are also gearing up for Diwali 2022 release. Interestingly, it was Akshay Kumar's "Bell Bottom", which was the first Bollywood biggie to release post-second covid-19 wave without Maharashtra. The business of the film was obviously halted but the release of the film gave some breather to theater owners. It has collected (still running) over Rs. 31 crore net, which is no less feat amid the pandemic and without the biggest market for a Hindi movie.