Yes, you read that right. Even as the Centre is yet to decide on a date for the reopening of cinemas, Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of West Bengal, has announced that cinemas in the state would be allowed to reopen from 1st October. Banerjee tweeted today at 8.43 p.m. from her official Twitter handle (@MamataOfficial) that to return to normalcy, Jatras, Plays, OATs, Cinemas and all musical, dance, recital and magic shows shall be allowed to function with 50 participants or less from 1 October. Of course, the establishments concerned will have to adhere to physical distancing norms, wearing of masks and compliance to precautionary protocols.
The figure of 50 seems to be too small. In the case of multiplexes or double-screen cinemas, it is not clear whether the count will be considered per screen or per multiplex. The upbeat West Bengal trade expects that the number of patrons permitted in cinemas will be increased by the state government from Durga Puja which will begin on 22nd October.