Film buffs are slowly returning to cinema hall with the flattening of the COVID curve and news of the imminent availability of vaccines, says Arijit Dutta, owner of Priya Cinema and Bioscope chain of multiplex. Priya is considered an iconic theatre for cinema lovers of South Kolkata and opened its doors in September with the screening of some of the old and new releases in recent times. Though initially the footfall was very poor mainly for the fear of COVID 19 and also lack of awareness amongst cinema goers that the hall was open, but since December things are looking better and Dutta is hopeful that by February the occupancy rates shall go further up.
He admits the difficulties of running the show with depleted audience as overheads costs are far more than the returns but as a pioneering exhibitor he is hopeful that the recent appeal to the Chief Minister by EIMPA for a 100% opening up of ticket sales shall be accepted and to revive back cinema business in Bengal, 100% occupancy is a must at theatres. I am hopeful that the government will listen to our appeal
He also has plans to showcase a few retro movies which were made under their home production banner like “Aranyer Dinratri” as a tribute to the departed stars as Soumitra Chatterjee, Shamit Bhanja and Robi Ghosh and also bring back the cinema patrons to experience the big screen magic.
He concludes by appealing to the cinema hall patrons, “We are maintaining the highest standards of hygiene and it is absolutely safe otherwise to visit cinema halls, I appeal to all to come back and watch films on the big screen as Priya is screening movies like before.”