Cinemas and auditoriums in the state “should be closed” at least till March 31, chief minister Mamata Banerjee said on Monday.
Shooting for reality shows, too, will have to be suspended, she said.
“We have requested cinemas, auditoriums to remain shut till March 31. The shooting for reality shows, too, will have to be suspended till March 31. We will review the situation on March 30,” Mamata said at a news conference at Nabanna.
She repeated towards the end of the news conference: “We have already said that auditoriums and cinema halls should remain shut.”
She clarified that closure of the cinemas and auditoriums for a few days won’t cause any harm. “If shooting for reality shows, cinema halls, auditoriums, stadiums are kept closed for a few days, it would not cause any harm. Nothing is more important than human lives…. This is an unnatural situation…. Try to avoid large gatherings as much as possible,” she said.
The chief minister had a request for clubs, too. “So many friends, so many persons go to clubs from several places. The clubs must make restrictions at this time. We must take steps so that nothing happens.”
Hours after the announcement, officials of Quest Mall and South City Mall said screening of films would be suspended from Tuesday.
An official of INOX issued a statement: “…We will fully respect and follow the Government’s Advisory to keep the cinemas closed as a preventive measure….” The PVR chain of multiplexes said they were waiting for their management to decide on the closure of their cinemas.
Many films have pushed back their release indefinitely. The release of Raj Chakraborty’s film Dharmajuddha, which was scheduled to release on April 3, has been postponed.
“Keeping in mind the safety of everyone, we have decided to postpone the release of our film Dharmajuddha,” Raj said.
The shooting for several films — such as Golondaaj, starring Dev — has been deferred.