On day one of reopening, theatres witness low turnout

Footfall expected to increase during Deepavali.

Theatres across the city that threw open their doors on Tuesday, nearly eight months after they were asked to close in the State due to the COVID-19 pandemic, saw a low turnout.

Kamini Rajah, who caught a show of the film Kannum Kannum Kollaiyadithaal, said there were hardly 20 people in the hall. “There were several safety precautions in place and seats that shouldn’t be occupied by patrons were clearly marked,” she said. Moviegoers like her are hopeful that the new films releasing for Deepavali would bring back crowds to the theatres.

Anuj Vignesh, a Chennai resident, said there were several measures in place to ensure that physical distancing and other safety norms were followed. “Having been used to the hustle and bustle of crowded theatres, it was an eerie experience today at an almost quiet and empty multiplex,” he said.

Fans of the South Korean boy band BTS were thrilled to catch the documentary Break The Silence: The Movie, which released on Wednesday in the city.

Yashoswathi, a Chennai resident, said there were around 50 people who caught the show at the same time as her. “Many fans were eager to watch the film. We were sitting in alternate seats in the theatre and before the show, the theatre manager spoke to the audience about physical distancing and the measures implemented to keep us safe,” she said Udeep B., managing director of the theatre Mayajaal, said there was 10% occupancy for their scheduled shows of films which had been rereleased. “This is not bad at all. We will, however, know the real trend only by Saturday, once we have new releases on Deepavali,” he said.

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