Mumbai: Footfalls dip at museum, malls & theatres but zoo still a draw | Mumbai News – Times of India


MUMBAI: The recent “trial show” of one of India’s foremost standup comics inside a Thane mall was going over so badly that, at one point, he contemplated doing what American singer Akon did in Delhi when his greatest hits were met with glazed looks: crowd-dive.
There was just one tiny problem. The “crowd” consisted of six people. On a Saturday evening. Watching them self-consciously giggle at his capers that didn’t live up to the ticket price of Rs 400 a pop, the comic acknowledged the lack of strength in numbers. “The pressure to perform here is not on me,” he quipped. “It’s on you.”
While the punchlines could certainly have been better, the low turnout wasn’t exactly the comedian’s fault. Malls and entertainment venues across the city have been witnessing a new low in footfalls in the wake of rising Covid-19 cases in the state. Some malls and cultural venues such as the NCPA have cancelled shows owing to the fresh wave.
At Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), which is open from 10 am to 2.15 pm, the average number of visitors has dwindled from 300 per day when it opened in February this year to 180 to 240 per day since the beginning of March when the Covid-19 cases in Mumbai started rising. “Now it is 90 to 100 per day including weekends,” says Sabyasachi Mukherji of CSMVS, adding that the decrease in visitors and cultural activities has immensely impacted the museum’s revenue.
He also attributes part of this fall to the museum’s new cautionary measures: No more than 20 visitors in a gallery at a time, staggered entry into the Museum, strict circulation paths and close vigilance on mask-wearing and hand sanitization. “Our impression is that people, particularly Mumbaikars, are interested in coming to the museum – to see our galleries and also to spend time in our outdoor areas,” says Mukherjee, adding that viewers can access the online programmes of the museum on its digital platform.
Malls too appear to have been impacted. “Post lockdown, we had seen a steady growth in footfall and consumption week over week. Business recovered substantially in December 2020 and January 2021. But since the last week of February, we have seen that there is no growth in weekly footfall. In the past few days, there has even been a slight drop in footfall which could be due to the increasing number of Covid-19 cases,” said Rajneesh Mahajan, CEO of Inorbit malls.
Some malls have cancelled large scale events and public gatherings till the situation improves.
While the crowds in cinema halls have thinned, multiplex chains attribute this to the absence of major theatrical releases. “Overall occupancy has not picked up since screening of films resumed in theatres in October 2020. It is only last week that the first Hindi mass entertainer in recent times, ‘Roohi’, was released. The movie had begun garnering footfall but Covid-19 infections have started rising again,” said a multiplex owner. Others are hopeful. “With blockbuster releases coming up, we are optimistic that footfall would increase and theatres would perform better,” said Mukesh Kumar, CEO of Infiniti Mall.
Over at the Byculla zoo, footfalls have remained steady since its opening on February 15. “On weekdays there are around 2,000 people who visit while on Sundays, the number of visitors touch 10,000 as well,” said Dr Sanjay Tripathi, director of the zoo, which is gradually planning to bring in giraffes, zebras, white lions and other footfall-raising fauna.
(With inputs from Richa Pinto)



Source link

Leave a Comment