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New Delhi News : Cinema halls allowed to open with 50% seating capacity, SOP released

Cinema halls allowed to open with 50% seating capacity, SOP released

New Delhi News : Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar released the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for film exhibition here today. The SOP on preventive measures for the Exhibition of Films has been prepared in consultation with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

The Ministry has released the general SOPs taking into consideration international practices notified in the sector including physical distancing, entry, and exit with designated queue markers, sanitization, the safety of staff, contact minimization.

The seating arrangements shall be restricted to 50 percent of the seating capacity. Multiplex show timings shall be staggered, so as to not have an overlap of show timings. The temperature setting shall be in the range of 24°- 30°c.

Ministry of Home Affairs’ on September 30 released new guidelines for reopening of Cinemas/ theatres/ multiplex with upto 50% of their seating capacity, in areas outside the Containment Zones only with effect from 15th October, 2020.

SOPs related to Exhibition of films

  1. Adequate physical distancing of at least 6 feet to be followed outside the auditoriums, common areas and waiting areas at all times.
  2. Use of face covers/masks to be made mandatory at all times.

iii. Availability of hand sanitizers, preferably in the touch-free mode, at entry and exit points as well as common areas within the premises.

  1. Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This involves strict practice of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing off used tissues properly.
  2. Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest to state and district helpline.
  3. Spitting shall be strictly prohibited.

vii. Installation & use of Aarogya Setu App shall be advised to all.

Seating Arrangements

  1. The occupancy of the cinemas/theatres/multiplexes shall not be more than 50% of their total seating capacity.
  2. Seating arrangement inside the auditorium of the cinemas /theatres/multiplexes to be made in such a way that adequate physical distancing is maintained. A model seating arrangement is attached at Annexure 1.
  3. Seats that are “Not to be occupied” shall be marked as such during booking (for both online booking and at the box office sale of tickets).

Physical Distancing Norms

  1. Proper crowd management in the parking lots and outside the premisesduly following physical distancing norms shall be ensured.
  2. Number of people in the elevators shall be restricted, duly maintaining physical distancing norms.
  3. Efforts shall be made to avoid overcrowding in the common areas, lobbies and washrooms during the intermission. Audience may be encouraged to avoid movement during the intermission. Longer intermissions may be used to allow audience seated in different rows of the auditorium to move in a staggered manner.
  4. Staggered Show Timings at Multiplexes
  5. Staggered show timings shall be followed for multiple screens to avoid crowding.
  6. The show commencement time, intermission period and finish time of a show at any screen shall not overlap with the commencement time, intermission period or finish time of a show at any other screen in a multiplex.

Public Awareness

  1. Do’s and Don’ts shall be communicated at prominent access points: Online sale points, digital tickets, public areas like lobbies, washrooms, etc.
  2. Public Service Announcements on wearing mask, observing physical distancing and maintaining hand hygiene as well as specific announcements on the precautions and measures to be followed within and outside the premises shall be made before the screening, during intermission and at the end of the screening.
  3. Provisions must be made for display of Posters/standees/AV media on preventive measures about COVID-19 prominently outside and inside of the venues.


For air-conditioning/ventilation, the guidelines of CPWD shall be followed which, inter alia, emphasizes the following….

  1. Temperature Setting of all air conditioning devices should be in the range of 24-30°C.
  2. Relative humidity should be in the range of 40-70%.
  3. Re-circulation of air to be avoided to the extent possible.
  4. Intake of fresh air should be as much as possible.
  5. Cross ventilation should be adequate.

Food and Beverage Area

  1. Show timings in the cinema halls to be staggered to ensure that intervals of different shows do not occur simultaneously.
  2. Customers shall be encouraged to use cinema apps/QR codes, etc. for ordering food as much as possible.
  3. Multiple sale counters in food and beverage area be made available wherever possible.
  4. One line systems to be followed using floor stickers to maintain physical distancing at every sale counter.
  5. Only packaged food and beverages shall be allowed.
  6. Delivery of food and beverage inside the hall/auditorium shall be prohibited.
  7. Management shall ensure observance of physical distancing and preventing crowds in the food and beverages area.
  8. Safe disposal of the food and beverage waste shall be ensured by the management of the premises.

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