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Drums, cake and milk as Bollywood cinemas dance back to life

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Drums, cake and milk as Bollywood cinemas dance back to life
Drums, cake and milk as Bollywood cinemas dance back to life

Mumbai: Indian film fans banged drums, danced and ate cake outside Mumbai cinemas on Friday to celebrate Bollywood´s first big-budget release since the pandemic began.

Cinemas shuttered in March 2020 under a strict lockdown when Covid-19 first hit the country, and then enjoyed a brief reprieve before closing after a massive virus surge in April.

The industry is hoping for a rebound with theatres back in business across the country, most recently in Mumbai, capital of Bollywood, the world´s most prolific film industry.

First out of the blocks on Friday, just in time for the Diwali festival weekend — traditionally a time for blockbuster releases — was “Sooryavanshi”, the first marquee Bollywood film to be released on the big screen in 18 months.

Fans danced and chanted the name of the action caper´s star Akshay Kumar — with one even baking a chocolate cake embossed with the name of the movie.

“We have been waiting for almost one and half years for a big Bollywood movie to be released,” said Sikander, one fan eager to watch the film.

“You can see the crowds chock-a-block here. I don´t remember the last time I have seen such a huge crowd of moviegoers,” he told AFP.


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