Movie theaters, concert halls to resume activities after virus shutdown

June 6, 2020 - 18:41

TEHRAN – President Hassan Rouhani has said that the movie theaters and concert halls will resume activities with 50 percent of their capacity on June 21 after an over three-month-long closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He made the remarks in a meeting held at the Coronavirus Combat and Prevention Headquarters on Saturday, adding that it is necessary to observe healthcare protocols.

However, the president did not mention anything about reopening the halls dedicated to theater performances.

Earlier last week, the Cinema Organization of Iran (COI) announced that the movie theaters in the so-called “white areas” or regions with no coronavirus hospitalizations in the past two weeks are allowed to reopen.

The cinemagoers were told to observe social distancing, while the employees were asked to wear face masks and plastic gloves.

Fever tests before entering the cinemas, frequent sanitization of the halls, and public restrooms, as well as the screening of a video on how to protect oneself from the coronavirus before the feature film are also among the regulations required by the headquarters.

In a letter earlier sent to President Hassan Rouhani, the Association of Iranian Theater Owners asked to lift the coronavirus restriction on cinemas, calling for reopening of the theaters across the country based on the health protocols during the pandemic.

In addition, the Cinema Organization of Iran has recently announced that Iranian cineastes can resume their activities in the near future.

The Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Seyyed Abbas Salehi announced that the coronavirus outbreak in Iran would cause an estimated loss of over 9,700 billion rials (Over $230 million) in the art and culture sectors by April 19, the end of the first month of the Iranian calendar year.

He had made the remarks in a report sent to President Hassan Rouhani and several other high-ranking officials, including the head of the Planning and Budget Organization, having asked for urgent support for people working in numerous vulnerable jobs in the various sectors.

Photo: A file photo shows a movie theater in Tehran.

RM/YAW

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