Sooryavanshi 11-1632569053825
Akshay Kumar's 'Sooryavanshi' is one of the many films in the pipeline waiting to release in cinemas Image Credit: GN archives

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has announced that all cinemas and theatres in the state will be reopened from October 22 in full compliance with health norms, 18 months after the box-offices were shut in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and series of lockdowns from March 2020.

“The work is underway to prepare a detailed SOP in this regard which will be announced soon,” said the CM as the announcement spread ripples of excitement in the film and theatre worlds now gearing to return to ‘full houses’.

The chief minister held detailed discussions with the Covid Task Force members, Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Dr. Pradeep Vyas and Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut and others.

From the Bollywood and Marathi film industry, there were Rohit Shetty, Makrand Deshpande, Subodh Bhave, Aadesh Bandekar and other representatives from the stage and silver screen.

The move came a day after the government permitted the reopening of most schools in the state from October 4 and all places of worship from October 7, with restrictions and protocols, as the COVID-19 situation appears to be easing in the state.

Shetty is one of several filmmakers whose film has been waiting for more than a year to release. ‘Sooryavanshi’, which stars Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif in the lead, was weeks from releasing before cinemas shut down across India last year.