Talking about the year 2020, cinema halls remained shut for several months owing to the lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was a huge blow for the film industry as it led to zero revenues for theatre owners and deprived the exhibition business of a bunch of big-ticket, mid-sized and small-scale films.
Later, the Government permitted the theatres to re-open but with only 50% occupancy. But, this decision didn't improve the situation much. Finally, on Sunday, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting allowed 100 percent occupancy in multiplexes and cinema halls from February 1, 2021. This decision came as a huge relief to theatre owners.
If the latest reports are to be believed, the credit for this goes to actor and Member of Parliament, Sunny Deol. As per a Bollywood Hungama report, it was the Ghayal actor who took up the initiative of getting in touch with the ministers to request them to allow 100 percent cinema occupancy.
A source told Bollywood Hungama, "It was Sunny Deol who led the delegation from the film industry and met Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs of India, Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Amit Khare, Secretary, I & B Ministry and Anurag Thakur, Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, a few days back. He requested them to consider the request for allowing theatres to function at greater than 50% occupancy, and preferably at 100% itself."
The President of Multiplex Association of India, Kamal Gianchandani, also expressed his gratitude towards Sunny for taking up the initiative and was quoted saying, "On behalf of all MAI (Multiplex Association of India) members, I would like to thank Shri Sunny Deol ji for his tireless and unwavering efforts in getting back the 100% capacity for cinemas. His leadership, combined with his commitment to serve the best long term interest of the entire filmed entertainment sector, has played a vital role in putting the film industry back on the path to recovery and growth. I am confident that film industry community will continue to benefit from his valued leadership and counsel."
Well, we must say, the reel life hero turned out to be one in real life as well!