CHENNAI: There was both a sense of nostalgia and disappointment as movie theatres reopened on Tuesday after an interval of nearly eight months. Calmness replaced the usual hustle bustle in front of counters, couples and families sat apart not holding hands and most importantly, no new movie released on the day.
Despite permission, only a few theatres in the city, mostly multiplexes lit up their screens on Tuesday. Some single screen staff even said Tuesday was an inauspicious day, and they would resume operations on Wednesday or Thursday.
“The experience was very different. Firstly, it did not feel like watching a movie in the theatre. There was no crowd, no hooting and all of us were wearing masks. Probably if new movies are released, the experience may get better,” said S Vinitha, who watched a movie at Velachery.
At Jazz cinemas, everything from security check, baggage check, ticket booking and food delivery was contact-less. The iconic flavour-it-yourself popcorn now comes in a closed box with two flavour sachets. Apart from that, tissues and straw are packed separately and coke comes in a reusable take-home tumbler.
“Adherence to protocols gives confidence to customers. Though the crowd was sparse today, we are expecting the situation to get better by Deepavali and revive fully by Pongal,” said Chandrasen Rao, general manager-operations, Jazz Cinemas.
At Escape Cinemas, the staff members cheered and applauded the audience after the show was over. “We had a decent footfall today. Till new movies release, we will focusing on customer experience and giving them confidence. Everything should fall in place in three months,” said one of the officers there.