By Chaitanya Padukone
The exhibitors (theatre-owners) and the film-folks are euphoric with the long-awaited super-khush khabar that all cinema theatres in Maharashtra will be allowed to open after October 22! The Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s office announced this afternoon in a tweet, as the State eases curbs amid a drastic drop in Covid cases. The protocol and SOP that shall be followed, as movie theatres reopen, is being worked out , and will be released soon, the Chief Minister’s office further said.
‘Showman’ director-producer Rohit Shetty along with Dr. Jayantilal Gada – Chairman & MD of PEN Studios met the Hon. Chief Minister of Maharashtra – Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday to discuss the reopening of the theatres across Maharashtra. Also present were Sanjay Chatar (Director, Pen Marudhar) and key theatre representatives including Kamal Gianchandani (President of Multiplex Association of India & CEO, PVR Pictures), Alok Tandon (CEO, Inox Leisure Ltd), Devang Sampat (CEO, Cinepolis India), and Kunal Sawhney (Chief Operating Officer – Carnival Cinemas) who were delighted to know the favourable State Govt decision and heartily welcomed the landmark move.
There were a large number of Lord Ganesha ardent devotees within the film fraternity who celebrated Ganeshotsav at their respective homes mostly in an austere manner complying with the Corona-centric restrictions prescribed by the Municipal authorities.
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What is rather a surreal coincidence that just a day before –on Sept 24th Friday evening,– producer-director Rohit Shetty was seen along with his wife performing pooja-aarti at the highly revered ‘Andhericha Raja’—Ganesha, off Veera Desai Rd a few hours before the Saarvajanik idol was taken for visarjan (immersion). In fact, after patiently waiting for 18 years, it was finally Rohit’s turn to ‘sponsor’ the cost of the Andhericha Ganesha idol which is known as ‘Navsaala Paavnara’ ( fulfilling one’s wish) and offer his ardent devotion to Lord Ganesha. In fact the devout Rohit had visited the same Ganesha pandal on two prior occasions during Ganeshotsav this year for offering his prayers. As is known, Lord Ganesha is widely worshipped as ‘Vignaharta’—the remover of all obstacles.
Superstar Akshay Kumar announced in his tweet “ So many families would be thanking CM Uddhav Thackeray today! Grateful for allowing the reopening of cinema halls in Maharashtra from Oct 22. Ab kisi ke roke na rukegi – Aa Rahi Hai Police! The movie Sooryavanshi co-produced and directed by Rohit Shetty would now be releasing during Diwali 2021
In the action-thriller movie, macho Akshay plays DCP Veer Sooryavanshi, the chief of the Mumbai Anti-Terrorism Squad even as his formidable team joins forces with Inspector Sangram Bhalerao ( Ranveer Singh ) and DCP Bajirao Singham (Ajay Devgn) to arrest or eliminate a terrorist group planning to attack Mumbai city. But the surprise treat is also expected to emerge from vivacious Katrina Kaif who plays an intense sensitive role as Akshay’s wife.