Cinema operators appeal for reopening

PETALING JAYA: Cinema operators are calling on the government to allow them to resume operations as non-essential sectors such as gyms, casinos and recreational fishing centres have been allowed to reopen during the current movement control order period.

The Malaysian Association of Film Exhibitors (MAFE) said the closure of cinemas due to the MCO had crippled the industry as they had lost 90% of year-on-year revenue, with more than RM500mil in losses in 2020 alone.

“The forced shutdowns have gravely impacted the industry resulting in countless job losses, permanent closure of cinemas and a significant downsizing of operations for all exhibitors across the board, ” it said.

The association said the closing of cinemas would also directly affect the livelihood of the larger local Malay film industry that employs some 20,000 Malaysians.

MAFE chairman Tan Sri Mohd Ghazali Mohd Seth said the cinema industry could not sustain closure much longer and it would undoubtedly collapse.

“We hope the government will seriously reconsider its decision and allow us to reopen, ” he said.

Operators are also appealing for families from the same households to be allowed to sit next to each other in cinemas when they are eventually reopened.

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