Cinemas prepare to welcome moviegoers for reopening

GEORGE TOWN (Bernama): Although cinemas have delayed their reopening following Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s recent announcement, cinema operators have given an assurance that they are ready to welcome moviegoers back.

On Sept 7, Ismail Sabri announced that cinemas would be allowed to operate at 50% capacity for fully vaccinated individuals effective Sept 9.

Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) PR and branding manager Sharmine Ishak said on Sunday (Sept 12) that its staff have been maintaining the cinemas throughout the closure, and this included cleaning the seats, halls and facilities such as e-kiosks, and the equipment like projectors.

He said before reopening, cinemas will be thoroughly disinfected to ensure that they are all ready to accommodate moviegoers.

“As of now, cinema operators are currently awaiting detailed standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“Additionally, the studios and distributors have only just been able to submit films to the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia for review, as it was not possible to get this done during the lockdown,” he said.

He added that any updates regarding the reopening of cinemas as well as the screening of movies would be announced via social media.

Meanwhile, TGV Cinemas general manager of sales & marketing Mohit Bhargava said they would also be training their frontline staff to comply with new SOPs outlined by the government, coupled with the exhibitor's own enhanced safety procedures.

He said among these enhanced SOPs included restricting entry only to fully-vaccinated staff and guests aged 18 and above, enhanced food safety management, operating contactless ticket sales, as well as active monitoring of safety satisfaction scores.

“Furthermore, we will also be preparing a range of 'welcome back' deals and offers for our MovieClub members and guests to greet them at our reopening,” he said.

He hoped that the reopening of cinemas would offer Malaysians a safe environment to reduce stress and anxiety levels amid the Covid-19 pandemic at an affordable price.

“As an industry, we are responsible for creating around 20,000 jobs, all of which have been impacted due to cinemas' closure. We hope to rebuild our business and help our staff and their families return to normalcy,” he said. – Bernama

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