After more than 18 months closed due to the coronavirus Pandemic (the last of many restrictions on virus spread amid an increase in infections), movie theaters in Mumbai, India’s entertainment capital, reopened Friday.

The guidelines last month were followed by theaters that opened at half capacity. However, they struggled to attract the public back, and re-released older hits instead. Movie ticketing portal BookMyShow revealed that many shows were being run with smaller audiences.

To reduce the risk of the virus, people with COVID-19 vaccination certificates and a “safe” status on the state-run app will not be permitted to enter theaters. No food or drinks are allowed in the theaters.

There are also theaters in other parts of the country that offer shows.

Mumbai was one of the worst-affected cities in the country by the pandemic, but it has slowly reopened after a decrease in COVID-19 deaths and cases. However, the cinemas in Mumbai are the last to reopen. This is a significant symbolic move for the financial capital of India, which is also home to the Bollywood film industry.

The $2.8 billion film industry produces over 2,000 films every year. Bollywood’s popularity over the years has made moviegoing a part of India’s culture and been a boon to the economy.

Operators have been hurt by the restrictions placed on movie theatres in order to stop COVID-19 spreading. However, the industry is expected back to its former glory. Indian filmmakers are preparing major releases for Diwali, the Hindu festival that celebrates lights. This is when ticket sales spike and theatergoers flock to the theaters.

Mumbai’s cinemas will be returning to their original location on the same day that India celebrated its 1 billionth dose of COVID-19. According to Our World in Data, approximately half of India’s nearly 1.5 billion citizens have had at least one dose. Only 20% are fully immunized.

India was hit hard by the coronavirus earlier in the year, but things have since returned to normal. India is gearing up for Diwali as foreign tourists are permitted again, and markets buzz with activity.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Friday that India’s vaccination drive was an example of what the country can accomplish if citizens and government work together towards a common goal. He claimed that India’s critics have been silenced by the achievement.

“Injecting 1,000,000 doses of HIV is more than a number. It’s a sign of determination and the country’s will to succeed. India has written a new chapter of its history. Modi spoke in a speech broadcast live throughout the country and stated that the world will now be more serious about India after this landmark.

Modi encouraged people to purchase Indian-made goods in order to boost the economy. The festival season is expected to bring about an increase in sales.

“Some people trust only foreign brands for their daily necessities. He said that Made in India’s success is a paradigm shift.