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Centre asks TN Govt to revoke order of allowing 100% occupancy in theatres- Cinema express

Centre asks TN Govt to revoke order allowing 100% occupancy in theatres

The Tamil Nadu government on Monday increased the occupancy in theatres from 50% to 100%

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Published: 06th January 2021

The central government has asked the Tamil Nadu government to revoke its order allowing full occupancy in cinema theatres and multiplexes. The official quote from the office of Ajay Bhalla, Union Cabinet Secretary, states that this is "to bring the guidelines in line with the Ministry of Home Affairs' guidelines dated 28th December, 2020."

“Government of Tamil Nadu order of permitting increase the seating capacity of cinema/theatres/ multiplexes from existing 50% to 100% is a dilution of MHA order. States and UT shall not dilute guidelines issued under DM act in any manner,” stated the order to K Shanmugam, Chief Secretary to the government of Tamil Nadu.

The Tamil Nadu government on Monday increased the occupancy in theatres from 50% to 100%. The move came as a response to the request from the Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners Association, based on the decreasing number of COVID-19 cases in the state.

Even as the decision was appreciated by the theatre owners and producers, it raised many concerns among the general public about the spread of COVID-19 in a closed space such as a movie theatre.

Tamil Nadu Theatres and Multiplexes Owners Association president Tirupur  Subramaniam, who feels disappointed by the move of the central government says, "It is so saddening to hear the news. While other businesses and services are functioning in full swing without much restrictions, we are probably the only sector to be badly affected by the regulations." He adds that the association can give a response only the state government releases their revised announcement.

Rakesh Gowthaman, the owner of Vettri Theatres, says that he welcomes the decision if it's for the greater good. "As an exhibitor it is a bit disappointing, to be honest. But I am willing to give full support to the government no matter what their decision is." He highlights that Master and Eeswaran's team has to make the bigger decision, "They have to take the call on whether to release their film despite the reduced seating capacity." 

With the order revoked, this Pongal may not be so festive for the theatre owners who were eagerly awaiting big releases such as Vijay's Master and Silambarsan's Eeswaran. The status of these releases in the wake of this new circumstance is unclear at the present time.

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