KUALA LUMPUR: Cinemas, hard hit by the Covid-19, will start suspending their operations from November due to the conditional movement control order (CMCO) in some states and also due to lack of new movies.
The Malaysian Association of Film Exhibitors (MAFE) said in a statement on Friday it had collectively decided to temporarily suspend operations at all cinemas across Malaysia.
“Commencing November 2020, cinemas will be progressively suspending movie screenings and/or concessions operations at their locations. They however, will continue to monitor the situation and react accordingly as market conditions improve, ” it said.
MAFE said the closure was due to the recent CMCO implementation in some states across Malaysia, which requires cinemas to remain closed.
It also cited a lack of new movies releases in the short term which are essential to attract moviegoers back to the cinemas.
MAFE said the Malaysian cinema industry has been hit hard by the pandemic and has endured deep revenue losses due to a drop of admissions of up to 90% year-on-year, whilst having to invest heavily on stringent safety standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure strong compliance and safety for the customers while they enjoy movies on the big screen.
The Malaysian cinema industry is larger than MAFE. It includes all the actors, the film crew, the promoters, and everyone who had a hand in making the movies possible.
The success of homegrown movies such as Munafik, Hantu Kak Limah, Ejen Ali: The Movie and BoBoiBoy The Movie 2, would not have been possible without Malaysian cinemas as a platform.
“Whilst this decision was not easy, it is in response to an increasingly challenging landscape for cinemas, and as an industry we believe it to be a necessary step for the long term preservation of Malaysian cinemas, so we can continue our role of contributing to the social, economic, and cultural fabric of our nation in the long run.
“Closing and reopening cinemas is extremely cumbersome, costly, and disruptive not only for cinemas, but also for our landlords and customers, ” said MAFE vice president Cheah Chun Wai.
“The coming months will be critical to the continuance of the Malaysian cinema industry. However, the industry remains optimistic that post Covid-19, cinema attendances will rebound, stronger than ever, as moviegoing will remain a top entertainment choice for Malaysians, ” he said.
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