Bringing some good news to moviegoers, the COVID-19 ban on cinema halls has been lifted.
Theatres will operate albeit with new regulations set by the Supreme Committee – at half capacity with tickets being booked only online.
The move was welcomed by Khalfan al Mahrazy, a private company employee. “It’s a win-win situation for both moviegoers and owners of the theatres,” he said.
“Businesses need to return to normal, so people whose income has been affected by the pandemic can start working and earn money. But we need to take proper precautionary measures.”
According to Cameron Mitchell, CEO of Majid al Futtaim Cinemas and Majid al Futtaim Leisure & Entertainment, guests at VOX Cinemas can now have a completely queueless experience by advance booking tickets online. “We also offer contactless payment options.”
The capacity in auditoriums has been reduced by 50 per cent and seats next to, in front of and behind a guest will be left vacant to ensure physical distancing.
“VOX Cinemas is also disinfecting auditoriums using fogging machines and sanitising surfaces after every guest interaction,” Mitchell informed.
“An extensive global study undertaken by Celluloid Junkie found that there has been no documented COVID-19 cases linked to movie theatres and, several other studies have confirmed that cinema auditoriums pose less of a risk than many indoor environments that people are going to now.”
Asked if children will be allowed in VOX Cinemas, Mitchell said, “In line with government guidelines, children are permitted at VOX Cinemas. We are excited, prepared and ready to welcome back all our guests.”
However, not all are in the mood to go back to theatres.
Manisha Joshi, a model, said, “I won’t be going to the cinema soon as it is still not safe for people to gather, especially for children and elders. We should have some patience and wait until a vaccine is available.”