Cheah Chun Wai, the vice-president of the Malaysian Association of Film Exhibitors (MAFE), said this is due to the cinema industry incurring a 90% revenue loss since the COVID-19 pandemic began, as well as the current enforcement of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in several states, which requires cinemas to be closed to contain the spread of the disease.
Besides, the lack of new movie released during the pandemic is also a contributing factor.
"Closing and reopening cinemas is extremely cumbersome, costly, and disruptive, not only for the cinemas, but also for our landlords and customers.
"Cinemas in Malaysia have appealed for government assistance and rental support, as it grapples to survive and recover from this worldwide crisis. If the cinema business fails, it stands to destablisie the entire entertainment ecosystem," Free Malaysia Today (FMT) quoted him saying in a statement.
However, Cheah expressed hope that the industry will rebound after the pandemic eventually subsides, as cinema remains a top entertainment choice for Malaysians.
Cinemas were closed when the Movement Control Order (MCO) was enforced last March, but the government allowed them to reopen beginning July 1, provided they limited the occupancy to half the usual level, and abided the standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place, such as recording their customers' personal details and body temperatures levels.
Cinema-goers must also wear face masks at the premises.
Leading local cinema chains GSC, and TGV Cinemas confirmed the pending closure on posts put up on their respective official Facebook pages.
GSC said that it would shutter down from Nov 2, until the end of November, and assured its followers that new developments will be updated accordingly.
TGV, meanwhile, said that the closure will take effect from Nov 2, until further notice.
MBO Cinemas, which is among the worst hit by the pandemic, also announced that the closure on Nov 2 will last until further notice. Earlier this month, it was reported that MBO, the country's third largest cinema chain operator, is going to close down its business and sell off its assets to repay creditors.
As you know we closed most of our cinemas earlier already - so those are still operating and closed due to CMCO will...Posted by MBO Cinemas on Thursday, 29 October 2020
Source: FMT, The Edge
Photo source: Rojak Daily