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‘Villain’ Corona-Virus Scare –Jeopardizing Hindi Movie-Releases And Events !

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Chaitanya Padukone

Not just the common-man  all over India, but even the Bollywood movie-industry is badly affected by the scare-panic of the ‘villainish’ outbreak of the dreaded corona-virus pandemic .  As is known by now, as a preventive measure, all cinema- halls in Delhi have been instructed to remain ‘closed’  until March 31.  This has affected the box-office collections of ‘Baaghi 3’  and other movies releasing today and during this month.  The Zee Cine Awards 2020 event stands cancelled for the general public in order to avoid mass gatherings. Instead, the awards will now only be shot as a ‘televised’ show. Fans who purchased tickets for the otherwise ‘live’ event will be refunded at the earliest. Viewers can now look forward to catching their favourite Bollywood celebrities at the Zee Cine awards during the  telecast on March 28, evening slot on the Zee Channel. The first major movie-release  ( originally scheduled on March 24 )to be affected is that of Rohit Shetty’s mega-venture-cops-thriller  ‘Sooryavanshi’ which now been postponed indefinitely of course “until the time is right”, when normalcy is almost restored .  The open-air trailer-launch mega-event of cricket-centric movie ’83, ( starring Ranveer Singh) directed by Kabir Khan which was planned post-Holi, during this week has also been cancelled. In all probability the release date of  movie ’83  (scheduled on April 10) is expected to be postponed. Interestingly,  critically-acclaimed ‘ Angrezi Medium’ directed by Homi  Adajania  has gone ahead with its movie release in hundreds  of theatres, despite the risk of the section of health-conscious audiences avoiding over two hours public-mass-gathering  exposure. While the footfalls in shopping malls which have in-house theatres has drastically reduced due to the panic-psychosis,  even tours and location-shoots are being postponed. For instance, charismatic superstar Hrithik Roshan has cancelled ( and postponed ) his US tour , starting April 10, where he was supposed to interact with  thousands of his US-based ardent NRI and American fans in some five major cities including Washington and New Jersey. Even sinewy superstar Salman Khan has cancelled ( and postponed) his US-tour  to various cities ( from April 3rd to April 12) and will announce  fresh dates when the situation turns normal.  Some film-industry cine-trade seniors feel that just as ‘3-D’ viewing glasses are given out,  similarly breathing preventive masks worn tightly on nose-and-mouth should be given out to all cine-goers, maybe at a nominal price, just as they enter the theatre lobby or foyer. Moreover, the theatre-seat-arms and the floor could be mopped-clean with approved disinfectant liquids after each show.