The Multiplex Association Of India on Tuesday urged the government to allow reopening of cinema halls on an urgent basis. They claimed the cinema exhibition industry “would have lost up to Rs 6,000 crores in 6 months of the lockdown.”
The full statement reads, “Films are the soft power of India and cinemas continue to be the main form of entertainment for millions of Indians. The cinema exhibition sector, comprising of close to 10,000 cinema screens across the country, is a critical part of a functioning and dynamic film industry. This is a sector which directly employs more than 2 lakh people while providing indirect employment to lakhs of people. Due to countrywide lockdowns, the cinema exhibition industry has run into an extremely adverse and hostile situation; it was the first sector to be shut down and will be the last sector to reopen.
Malls. Airlines, Railways, Retail, Restaurants, Gyms and many such services have already been restarted as part of ‘Unlock India’. In the recently announced ‘Unlock 4’, Bars and Metro services have also been permitted to reopen. Cinemas are equipped with better abilities to ensure crowd management in stringent hygienic environments while maintaining applicable social distancing norms. The following factors ensure the cinemas are always safe:
• Only paying patrons visit us unlike other activities where there are no entry tickets
• Movie show timings are staggered, therefore no crowd build-up
• Controlled and regulated entry and exits
• Availability of ample waiting areas
• Cinemas are professionally managed. Hence compliance to SOPs is assured
Countries such as China, Korea, France, UK, Italy, Spain, UAE, USA, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and others have already opened cinemas to the public with the implementation of the highest degree of safety protocols and have seen an encouraging response from the audiences. Overall more than 85 countries have full reopened cinema across the globe.
Assigning top-most priority to the health and well-being of our guests and employees, we have developed and are ready to implement a safety plan with the most stringent SOP’s to ensure a safe, secure and hygienic cinema viewing experience for the movie lovers of our country.
GIVEN THE DIRE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE EPIDEMIC ON OUR SECTOR AND LIVELIHOODS OF PEOPLE, WE SINCERELY URGE THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA TO ALLOW REOPENING OF CINEMAS ON AN URGENT BASIS.”