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After exhibitors, film workers' union, producers demand resumption of theatres in Maharashtra

The presidents of the FWICE and IMPPA expressed concern over the continued closure of cinema halls in the state.

Photo for representation only

Keyur Seta

Last evening, representatives of leading multiplex chains called on Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut and urged him to persuade the state government to allow cinema halls to reopen following the continuous fall in number of COVID-19 cases in the state.

Now, a couple of leading film organizations, too, have urged the state government, headed by Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, to let theatres reopen.

BN Tiwari, president of the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE), told Cinestaan.com, “Theatres should be resumed. People are facing huge losses. Films that are ready are also going through losses. Because of this, workers are not being paid. We appeal to the Maharashtra government to resume theatres at the earliest with all COVID-19 precautions.”

Questioning the government for withholding permission to theatres to resume functioning, he said, “If film shoots, marriages and funerals can take place, why can’t movies be played in cinemas? In the rest of India, theatres have reopened with 50% occupancy, but Maharashtra, the biggest business centre for movies, has still not opened up.”

TP Aggarwal, president of the Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association (IMPPA), echoed the sentiment. “We definitely want them to open theatres," Aggarwal said. "All other businesses have opened up, but this one hasn’t. Our association is also going to write a letter to the chief minister regarding this.”

Yesterday, Raut assured the exhibitors’ delegation of finding a ‘solution’ to the issue soon.

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