Joyful news for big screen fans


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 24 Jun 2020

PETALING JAYA: After almost three months of watching the small screen at home, the green light allowing cinemas to resume operations from July 1 is joyful news to movie fans.

One film which has been waiting on the reels is James Bond: No Time To Die, which was scheduled for screening in April but was put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The movie is slated for screening towards the end of this year.

Also waiting to hit the screens were Marvel’s Black Widow; Mulan from Walt Disney Pictures, and horror films Antlers and Antebellum, reported Bernama.

Meanwhile, cinema operators told The Star they are thrilled to be able to reopen their doors next month following the government’s decision to allow them to operate.

While they are relieved to be given the green light, they also want the official standard operating procedure (SOP) to be released so they can be better prepared.

GSC chief executive officer Koh Mei Lee said they will be taking all the precautions as “customers’ health comes first”.

The safety measures planned include temperature checks for employees, moviegoers and guests. Guests will also be required to complete a digital declaration form for contact tracing.

“We will be controlling the number of people in common areas to prevent crowding.

“During this time, cinema-goers are encouraged to purchase their movie tickets online as a social distancing measure to avoid queuing.

“We will also practise social distancing in the halls with gap seating,” she said.

Other measures included enhanced cleaning and regular sanitisation of frequently used facilities and disinfection of seats after every screening, she said.

Staff, she said, are required to wear face masks as part of daily operations and movie-

goers were also recommended to do so.

“Since the enforcement of the movement control order, we have been regularly maintaining and cleaning our cinemas while preparing for the implementation of a new SOP.

“As such, we are ready to open our doors on July 1,” she said in a statement on Monday.

TGV Cinemas chief executive officer Yeoh Oon Lai said the government’s announcement is definitely the “light at the end of the tunnel for us”.

“We are thrilled to be back and to bring joy and escapism to our fans while ensuring maximum safety standards,” he said.

Yeoh said TGV will be implementing enhanced safety measures such as placing hand sanitisers at all locations, checking customers’ temperature, placing social distance markers on the ground and seats, sanitising and cleaning frequently, and displaying #TGVCares public service announcements in all locations.

“We will also be increasing the time in between movie sessions (minimum 30 minutes) to allow for more thorough cleaning and sanitisation,” he said.

Yeoh, however, said TGV cinemas will likely stagger its reopening in stages from July 1.

On Monday, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that cinemas, theatres and live events could resume.

These activities, however, should not exceed more than 250 people at any given activity or time, he said.

He also said it depended on the capacity of the venue and that the SOP must be observed at all times, adding that these activities could only take place in enclosed areas.

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