It's official - the Tamil Nadu government on Monday granted permission for 100% occupancy in theatres, cinema halls and multiplexes across the state ahead of the two big Tamil releases this Pongal - 'Thalapathy' Vijay's Master and Silambarasan TR's Eeswaran. The decision has come after both Vijay and Simbu had requested the state government to allow 100% occupancy in cinema halls across the state, with the Government Order (GO) now issued to the Tamil Nadu Theatre And Multiplex Owners Association. The news has come as a major relief for theatre owners and fans, who have been waiting for a word from the TN government ahead of both Master and Eeswaran's releases, as both films are carrying sky-high expectations. 

Theatres across Tamil Nadu and the rest of the country were forced to be shut down in March last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Cinema halls in the state were reopened after nearly 8 months in November, with Santhanam's Biskoth and the adult comedy Irandam Kuththu to be the first films to be screened after the COVID-19 outbreak. With several other films in the state since then being released, including blockbuster Hollywood ventures like Christopher Nolan's Tenet and the DC Comics superhero film Wonder Woman 1984 in December 2020, many have been waiting for Vijay's Master and STR's Eeswaran to come out as both stars enjoy a massive fan following. Although the films released in theatres so far have performed to a decent extent, theatre owners believe Master and Eeswaran will bring back large crowds to cinema halls once again as was witnessed before the pandemic. 

'Thalapathy' Vijay's Master, which was initially slated for an April 9 release last year, is smashing its way to theatres on January 13, while Simbu's Eeswaran has been announced to come out on January 14. The GO issued says that the permission has been granted "to increase the seating capacity of Cinemas/theatres/Multiplexes from existing 50% to 100% by following the Standard Operating Procedure issued already". Below is the Government Order on the 100% theatre occupancy in Tamil Nadu: