Cinema outings with a twist

GSC staff disinfecting seats at a hall. Social distancing markers can be seen at alternate seats. — Photos: ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Startar

CINEMAS reopened their doors to the public on Wednesday but movie-goers will have to adjust to the new normal.

For example, they will not be allowed to sit next to each other in the cinema halls due to social distancing.

This is among the measures set up by cinema operators to ensure their customers are safe while enjoying their favourite activity.

Golden Screen Cinemas Sdn Bhd (GSC) public relations and branding manager Sharmine Ishak said that before the reopening, staff put in place enhanced safety measures as part of GSC’s commitment to safeguard the health of customers.

“GSC is keen to provide movie buffs a safe and contactless journey from the moment they arrive at the cinema.

“Cinema-goers are encouraged to purchase their movie tickets and concessions online as a social distancing measure.

“This is to reduce the queues and prevent contact on the premises.

A GSC employee sanitising a cinema hall.A GSC employee sanitising a cinema hall.

“When movie-goers arrive at the cinema, they are required to scan a QR code at the entrance and complete a digital declaration form.

“All guests will be required to have their temperature taken before admission into the cinema.

“Guests with temperatures 37.5°C or higher will not be allowed into the cinema and will be reimbursed accordingly if they have already purchased a ticket online, ” he said.

Sharmine added that prior to reopening, every GSC theatre went through a thorough cleaning of all its spaces including halls, rest rooms, e-kiosks and escalators.

Frequent contact spots like countertops, door handles, lift buttons and handrails were also cleaned.

“Sanitisation of these frequently used amenities will continue to be carried out regularly even after reopening and hall seats will be disinfected and wiped down after every show.

“Crowd control will also be implemented in common areas to prevent overcrowding as well as to ensure that customers are adhering to the queue markers.

“Furthermore, cinema halls will implement gap seating with audiences seated one chair apart from others on the left and right as well as front and back, ” he said.

Meanwhile, TGV Cinemas chief executive officer Yeoh Oon Lai said they wanted to ensure peace of mind for their patrons.

“Following the Federal Government’s guidelines, our enhanced safety programme will govern everything we do upon reopening which emphasises stringent processes and awareness.

“The enhanced measures include no entry for patrons with temperatures above 37.5°C and check-in for tracing purposes via MySejahtera.

“Also, only guests aged above 12 and below 60 are permitted into the cinema.

“For social distancing purposes, there will be one-metre social distance markers at queue areas. Alternate ticket and concession counters will be opened, cashless payment modes are encouraged and alternate urinals available besides our crowd management procedures.

“We will carry out sanitisation three times daily.

“Hand sanitiser is readily available and there will be extended cleaning of halls after movies are screened, ” he said.

Yeoh said TGV would be implementing social distance seating which ensures a minimum one- metre gap between patrons in the cinema hall.

“Patrons will notice that they can only select alternate seats, ” he said.

On June 22, the Malaysian Government announced that cinemas could resume operations beginning July 1 but with strict safety measures in place.

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