The Multiplex Association of India on Tuesday urged the government of India to allow reopening of movie theatres ‘on an urgent basis’. In its appeal, the cinema body highlighted that the movie exhibition sector that provides employment to lakhs of people lost an estimated Rs 9,000 crore in the last six months.
The Multiplex Association of India represents all the multiplex chains, including, PVR, INOX, and Cinepolis. Describing movies as the “soft power of India” and cinemas the main form of entertainment for millions of Indians, the association in a full-page published appeal said that close to 10,000 cinema screens across the country had been shut for close to six months.
“This is a sector which directly employs more than 2 lakh people while providing indirect employment to lakhs of people. Due to countrywide lockdowns, the cinema exhibition industry has run into an extremely adverse and hostile situation; it was the first sector to be shut down and will be the last sector to reopen,” the note published by the cinema body on read.
The association further said that malls, airlines, railways, retail, restaurants, gyms and many such services have already restarted as part of ‘Unlock India’.
In the fourth phase of unlocking, bars and metro services also opened up. It ensured that Cinemas are equipped with better abilities to manage the crowd in stringent hygienic environments while maintaining applicable social distancing norms.
Referring to many other countries such as UK, France, Italy, Spain, UAE that have already opened cinemas to the public, the Multiplex Association shed a light on implementation of the highest degree of safety protocols.
It said that the halls have kept the health and well-being of the visitors and employees as their top most priority and are ready to implement a safety plan with the most stringent SOPs to ensure a safe, secure and hygienic cinema viewing experience for the movie lovers.