Info-tech

With cinemas set to re-open, BookMyShow gearing up for new normal

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on October 11, 2020 Published on October 12, 2020

A worker sprays disinfectants on the seats of a cinema hall, in Ahmedabad   -  PTI

With the exhibition industry gearing up to restart their operations amid the pandemic, online ticketing aggregator BookMyShow is set to roll out the “My Safety First” feature on its platform to highlight the safety measures being adopted by cinema halls and multiplex chains.

With the government’s push towards usage of digital payments and online booking of tickets, the company is also on-boarding new screens on its platform including single-screen theatres in Tier-2 markets. Depending on State government permissions, cinema halls and multiplex chains will open from October 15 and will need to adhere to the safety and hygiene protocols prescribed by the Information & Broadcasting Ministry.

Safety protocols

Ashish Saksena, COO-Cinemas, BookMyShow, said that the “My Safety First” feature will help create awareness among consumers regarding the various safety and hygiene protocols being adopted by the cinema industry in-line with the government guidelines.

“The 50 per cent seating capacity norm has been one of the key changes in view of the pandemic. We have worked hard to adapt our platform to facilitate ticket booking in-line with these norms,” Saksena added. In addition, the company is also working with its cinema partners to enable pre-booking of packaged food and beverages.

With acceleration of adoption of online platforms for payment and purchases, BookMyShow is also focusing strategically on on-boarding new screens. Saksena said, “In the last five months, BookMyShow has on-boarded around 300 new cinema screens. This includes single screen cinemas in tier-2 markets. With the government emphasising on online booking and digital modes of payment, we see a significant opportunity in this regard.”

While the industry expects many States to allow to restart operations from October 15, it remains to be seen when Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu will give their nod. “All the industry stakeholders will need to work on building confidence among consumers. A lot will depend on State government permissions and new movie releases. While we may see a low-key Diwali, from December onwards we expect to see a steady flow of new content,” he added.

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Published on October 12, 2020
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