In his 47 years of being in the business, Manoj Desai says the exhibition sector has never witnessed a bleaker period. With cinemas across the country having downed their shutters for over six months, exhibitors have had to resort to pay cuts and layoffs as the balance sheet remains in the red. Desai, the executive director of Gaiety-Galaxy, one of Mumbai’s popular theatres, says several employees have tendered their resignation after having waited for months on end for the business to kick start again.
I haven’t laid off my staff, but around 20 employees — including operators, doorkeepers, and ushers — have quit since March. They feel theatres may not open for a long time. I cannot stop them because they must have got some other opportunity, he said.
With open-air theatres allowed operating from September 21, rumours suggest that Unlock 5.0 will see the government finally green light the reopening of cinemas.