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Despite rising Coronavirus cases, West Bengal government set to reopen cinema halls from October 1

The Multiplex Association of India (MAI) and the Eastern India Motion Pictures Association (EIMPA) had earlier requested the Mamata Banerjee-led government to reopen cinema halls in June.

In an unprecedented move, the West Bengal government has decided to resume operations of cinema halls, music and dance shows from next month. The development comes at a time when the state is reeling under rising cases of Coronavirus.

As of September 27, West Bengal has 25,374 recorded active cases and 4,665 fatalities. The total cases in West Bengal has surpassed the 2 lakh mark.

On Saturday, the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stated that the move is meant to restore normalcy in the state. She tweeted, “To return to normalcy, Jatras, Plays, OATs, Cinemas & all musical, dance, recital & magic shows shall be allowed to function with 50 participants or less from 1 Oct, subject to adherence to physical distancing norms, wearing of masks & compliance to precautionary protocols.”

Cinema halls were shut nationwide in the wake of the pandemic in late March this year. But the West Bengal government had earlier allowed for film shoots, web series and Tv serial production from June 1. The government had permitted the presence of not more than 35 people on the film set.

With this move, West Bengal becomes the first state in India to restart film theatres.

TMC MPs demand for reopening of cinema halls

The Multiplex Association of India (MAI) and the Eastern India Motion Pictures Association (EIMPA) had earlier requested the Mamata Banerjee-led government to reopen cinema halls in June. Similar demands were made by several actors in the Bengali film industry, including TMC MPs Mimi Chakraborty and Nusrat Jahan. They had claimed that the owners and employees were reeling under financial constraints, amidst the pandemic.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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