Cinema halls reopen on October 16
Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud has said the cinema halls could be reopened with half of the capacity of audience from October 16 if the trend of coronavirus infections continues to decline.
The information minister informed this at a press briefing after holding a meeting with the leaders of Bangladesh Chalachithra Prodorskah Samity at the meeting room of his ministry at Secretariat in the capital on Monday, reports BSS.
Information Secretary Kamrun Nahar, samity chief advisor Sudipto Kumar Das, senior vice president Mian Alauddin and joint general secretary Sharfuddin Alahi Samrat, among others, were present at the meeting.
Hasan said discussions were held on the opening of the cinema halls and a meeting was held at the beginning of this month on this issue.
A decision was taken in that meeting that “We will take a decision on reopening the cinema halls after September 15”, he added.
The information minister said elaborate discussions were held and “We took a decision that the cinema halls would be reopened if the trend of COVID-19 infections continues to decline.”
“But, we must take consent from the Prime Minister in this regard,” said Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary.
He said if the cinema halls are reopened, everyone should maintain health code and the halls will be reopened allowing each hall filling up only half of the seats of the capacity. “You all know that, recreation centers have been reopened in the country and restrictions on public transport have been lifted. Passengers are being transported normally like previous time,” he added.
The information minister said many people including artists and others are involved with the cinema industry. “On this issue we will take decision if situation becomes normal and also matching with conditions complying which other recreation centers have been reopened. But, the decision will be changed if the corona situation declines”, he added.
About construction of new cinema halls, reopening of halls and their renovation, Hasan said the Prime Minister has given approval in principle to form the fund for providing easy-term loans.
He said there were about 1200 cinema halls across the country. But now, there are only 200 to 250 cinema halls, he said, adding that the cinema halls are the lifeline of this industry.
“We sought approval from the Prime Minister to form a special fund for providing short and long term easy loans to reopen cinema halls, modernize and construct new cinema halls. She gave approval for forming the special fund which brings revolutionary and positive changes in expanding the film industry,” said Hasan.
Samity chief advisor Sudipto expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister through for creating the fund.
Replying to a comment of BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan, the information minister said criticism is allowed in politics and “Opposition can criticize. We also can criticize.”
“But, it is out of political etiquette to insult someone personally,” he said.
Hasan said, “The government has entrusted me with the task of running the information ministry. I also talk on behalf of the party. BNP always lies. I’ve a responsibility to give reply to those lies.”