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Coronavirus update: Cinemas shutdown till 31 March in West Bengal

Last week's release, Parcel (2020) has been withdrawn, while Raj Chakraborty's upcoming film Dharmajuddha has been postponed.

Roushni Sarkar

The Eastern India Motion Pictures (EIMPA) announced that all single screen theatres as well as multiplexes will remain close till 31 March in West Bengal as part of precautionary measures taken against the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The state reported its first case of coronavirus yesterday.

Though the industry will suffer huge losses due to the shutdown, officials said they would try to work towards recovery after 31 March.

Shootings of several films, television shows and web-series, including Srimanta Sengupta’s debut film Abar Bochhor Koori Pore, have already been stalled. Before the announcement by EIMPA, Raj Chakraborty Entertainment postponed the release date of Dharmajuddha (2020) and actress Rituparna Sengupta also announced a withdrawal of screenings of Parcel (2020), directed by Indrasis Acharya, from theatres.

“Nothing is more important than public safety. There should not be any laxity in preventing an outbreak. We should cooperate with the government,” said Firdausal Hassan, president of Film Federation of India.

However, according to Arijit Dutta, the owner of Priya Entertainment, “We are suspending all shows, but please quote me as asking that why the state is not closing down malls and only cinemas.” One of the biggest distributors of the eastern region, SVF has also shut down 13 screens across the state.

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