The coronavirus pandemic has unveiled a new way of living. Most people are still longing to go back to the pre-COVID way of life. For instance, a survey says that four out of five people miss going to the theatres to watch movies. Most respondents said they would wait for a couple of weeks to venture into cinema halls once they open.
A survey by Ormax Media looks into how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the sentiment of regular moviegoers. 'Back to the Theatre' is a report by the media consulting firm that surveyed 1,000 people across 58 cities as well as across languages including Hindi, Telugu and Tamil.
Audience still favour the big-screen experience with 82 per cent of respondents saying that they miss going to the theatres 'a lot'. Sixteen per cent said they were 'somewhat missing' and 2 per cent said they were 'not missing much'. Zero percent said that they were 'not missing at all'.
When theatres open, 42 per cent respondents said that they would rather wait for 2-3 weeks before heading to the cinema hall. However, a significant 28 per cent said that they would rush to the theatres as soon as they reopen. Nineteen per cent said that they would wait for 1-2 months, while 6 per cent said they would not go to the movies for at least six months.
While getting locked down at home has underscored the importance of OTT platforms, most respondents still say that they would not make a distinction when it comes to mediums. Audiences would still prefer content over the medium as evinced from the 69 per cent respondents who said that they are open to watching small, medium and big films at theatres depending on the trailer or content. Thirty-one per cent said that they would go to the theatres only for big movies with top stars. This puts a question on the emerging belief that small and medium films would now have to bank on OTT platforms.
Even while venturing out for fun, safety would remain the top-most concern of audiences. A significant 71 per cent said that ticket prices should remain the same but theatres must focus on safety measures, while 31 per cent said that theatres should slash prices to encourage more people to come back.
Most respondents, 86 per cent, want theatres to be sanitised after every show and want clean toilets. Hygiene of staff members, social distancing in the lobby and wearing masks are also priorities for 85 per cent of respondents. Around 80 per cent of respondents want masks to be provided at the entrance, while 75 per cent want temperature checks and 50 per cent want no cash transactions. Sixty-eight per cent want no human contact at the ticket-counter.
As for food and beverages, 48 per cent respondents said that they would buy less than before, while 25 per cent said will buy as before and 27 per cent said they would not buy at all.
When it comes to trust, big players score high. Eight-seven per cent respondents believe that PVR would implement the safety measures accurately, followed by INOX with 80 per cent and Cinepolis with 62 per cent. Single-screen theatres and ones with limited geographical presence scored low on trust.
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