There’s so much of anticipation in the air about when Bollywood would resume work — and that includes the resumption of shootings as also the reopening of cinemas once the COVID-19 lockdown is a thing of the past throughout the country. With many states having already lifted the lockdown and others having eased restrictions, it is hoped that the day is not far off when lockdown will be but a word in people’s dictionary rather than a part of day-to-day life.
But while multiplexes and single-screen cinemas are waiting to restart operations, are audiences keen and ready to go to the cinemas once they reopen? Given that there is still no medicine or vaccination in place, how secure will the public feel to congregate at public places like cinemas? No doubt, multiplexes and single-screen cinemas will have to take utmost care of the sanitisation and hygiene processes as a necessary prerequisite to lure people to frequent them but even after all that, will the public’s confidence be inspired enough for them to brave it out to the cinemas?
Information conducted an online poll on Twitter and asked people if they’ll watch a movie in a multiplex or single-screen cinema once cinemas reopen. The choices given to members of the public were four: (i) within a week of the reopening; (ii) within a fortnigh of the reopening; (iii) within a month of the reopening; (iv) none of the above.
While 13% of the people who participated in the poll said that they would visit a cinema within a week of the reopening, only 4% said they would do so within a fortnight. A month’s time seemed to be a fair risk for 16% as they gave the nod for the third option. But 67% of the people said, they would not go to the cinemas within a week or a fortnight or even a month. In other words, only 33% of the voters were in favour of watching a film in a cinema hall post the lifting of the lockdown. However, 67% of the persons were not in a mood to risk it out. And since the number of persons who participated in the online poll was 6,588, the scenario is not one which would bring joy among the exhibition sector of Bollywood which, incidentally, has been clamouring for permission to reopen cinemas.