Delhi, May 22 -- The week around Eid ul-Fitr is a carnival for multiplexes teeming with movie buffs united by their shared love for Salman Khan. Undeterred by an overnight hike in ticket prices, they wait for their turn to see their beloved Bhai-as the 54-year-old star is known among his die-hard admirers-unleash magic yet again on the big screen.

But as fate would have it, there is no activity at all now, let alone celebrations, at multiplexes, just a deathly silence. Reeling under the impact of extended lockdowns, theatres across the country have been wearing a desolate look shorn of glitz for more than two-and-a-half months. Worse still, there are no signs of things looking up anytime soon.

This unexpected twist was not there in the ...