23 Oct 2021  |   05:44am IST

The magic of the movies are here again

Theatres are open and popular films are being screened but what has been the response and what does the film buff have to say about all this
The magic of the movies are here again

Ajit John

You don’t have to stay at home and watch movies anymore on laptops or smartphones. It is now possible to watch them in the theatre and enjoy the experience of watching it in the way it is meant to be. Yes, there are regulations in place. A theatre can accommodate up to fifty percent of its capacity and there has to be a space maintained between each paying customer. A few directors both domestically and internationally waited for the theatres to reopen before releasing their movies. The biggest name that comes to mind is the latest edition of the James Bond saga No Time To Die. It was released to coincide with the opening of theatres and it generated attention all over the world.

Joseph Pereira GM INOX Goa said people were coming to watch movies. He said all the protocols were being followed and the maximum allowed was 50 percent. He said “We want people to enjoy watching the movie in our theatre and importantly want them to visit us again. We have theatres in Panjim, Porvorim and Margao and we are happy with the attendance numbers. James Bond was very popular with our audience. Generally all the English movies are doing well.”

However at another theatre chain K Sera Sera the story was a little different. Zeyan who works at the theatre in Vasco said the response was not as expected. He said “We are following all the protocols but people are still a bit worried. The numbers in certain shows for Venom were decent. It was 30 to 40%. People like I said are still scared.”

The sentiment with regards to watching movies in cinemas however was generally positive though there were a few who had their reservations. Chrisneil Dias, a young Goan who likes to live life said “Great news for the movie – goers! With all the necessary protocols being followed, one should feel safe to resume visits to the cinemas. The people should adhere to the Covid norms strictly in order to ensure that all those present enjoy and have a worry – free time. It’s high time that all of us learn to adjust and live in the “new normal”. Caution however was still the operative word. Aryavrat said he would definitely still take the precautions but would go to watch a film, if given a chance, though he admitted not as frequently as before”. For some the fun of going to a theatre to watch a film did not exist anymore. Samuel Fernandes said “I don’t think the fun of going to the theatre still exists anymore, in lockdown I watched movies on my phone on different OTT platforms, with my friends. And I don’t think I would want to go to the theatre anymore because of social distancing and stuff.”

For Sabira Shaikh, a student from Vasco it was good that theatres were open for business though she never went as often to them. She said it made sense to open them now that other institutions had opened up. Kevin Pinto, another young man very clued into the digital world said “Yes I would but definitely not very frequently, also because most of the movies now featured on online Apps. Moreover, even if I do visit, I’ll make sure I take all the safety precautions from now on.” Fair enough.

Dr Lloyd De Souza who practices in Calangute was the typical medical professional when he said “If each one is careful I think we can. With proper sops followed and social distancing norms followed, I would not mind visiting a movie theater. When everyone around us is open, it does not make any sense keeping theatres closed. Get back to normal life but with caution.” Swapnaa Puujari model was however very cautious saying she would prefer staying alive than give up her life for entertainment which meant she would not go to the theatre.”

Abisha Fernandes was adamant when she said “I won’t go to watch movies in the theatre until this covid situation is sorted out. We never know if that person in front of us is safe or not. So according to me people should be more cautious. People with no symptoms also can get the virus and this has happened in the past and continues to happen in the present. Even if we are following all the safety protocols to keep ourselves away from the virus you will never know if that person buying popcorn with you or sitting next to you is safe.” Siddhi Mahambre Shetye expressed similar feelings when she said “I would prefer watching a movie or TV series at home. I don’t completely feel safe about sitting in a room full of people, knowing that the world is still recovering from the horrendous effects of a pandemic”.

Viraj Hede said his family and friends were very cautious. They had become content with Netflix and OTT though he would like to go and watch the odd movie in the theatre. Gunjann Haldankar said “My answer would be yess, provided I also take my precautions!! Also since the majority of the population is vaccinated, it’s an added plus point!!”.

Another medical professional who advised caution was Mayanka Harlankar. She said “Entertainment is a very important part of our lives but being in the medical profession, I have seen patients lying on hospital floors when cases rise. I think one can enjoy movies now at home using Netflix or other apps. Even if the theatres are opened with limited seats people don’t really follow SOP’s. They crowd up for snacks, remove their mask to take selfies or to eat while watching cinema. When cases are in control we as a responsible citizen should follow all the SOP’s and move out only for work & other important purposes”.

Perhaps the final word should go to a film buff. Ameya Nayak an assistant professor in a local college said “Well, the pandemic has set us back in a number of ways and personally, theatres being shut as part of safety precautions was a setback for me as I’m a huge movie buff! Nonetheless it was mandatory. Now that theatres have slowly started to open up, keeping in mind the diluting danger surrounding the pandemic, thanks to vaccination and overall habit of following SOPs, I’d certainly catch myself a break and watch a movie as it’s one of the major stress busters for me. If SOPs are followed to the T and individually we take all required precautions, there is no harm in visiting a theatre and watching a flick one likes”.

Well one can only hope as everyone watches their favourite hero in their film of choice that it pays to be prudent in real life and it would not make sense to take unnecessary risks like James Bond.

IDhar UDHAR

Idhar Udhar