Multiplex Association of India urges Maharashtra govt to not impose second lockdown, says it'll adversely affect industry

The Multiplex Association of India, along with FICCI, issued a statement to the Maharashtra government with regard to the negative effects of a second lockdown in the state and recommendations for smooth operations of cinemas

FP Staff April 01, 2021 11:01:23 IST
Multiplex Association of India urges Maharashtra govt to not impose second lockdown, says it'll adversely affect industry

(Photo: Reuters)

The multiplex industry — among the worst-hit due to the coronavirus pandemic — on Thursday said a fresh lockdown, even a partial one, would be disastrous.

The Multiplex Association of India with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry issued a statement to the Maharashtra government with regard to the negative effects of the second lockdown in the state and recommendations for smooth operations of cinemas.

The statement adds that though the shutdown is expected to be different from last year’s, essentially focusing on preventing crowding, they believe that the lockdowns (if implemented) are going to negatively impact the cinema, retail and shopping industry. "Such measures that curtail smooth operations will not only deter genuine movie-goers and shoppers, who have slowly returned to cinemas and shopping centres, from visiting cinemas and malls but also put into motion a downward spiralling effect on the cinema industry and modern retail that could derail the recovery of these segments," said a press release.

The press release further states that with Zero revenues in 8 months (13 March 2020 till 9 November 2020), and thereafter meagre revenues in the last 5 months (9 November 2020 till 31 March 2021), the cinema exhibition industry is now facing 'possible bankruptcies'. However, the business has already been affected after major films delayed their releases on account of a possible second lockdown imposition.

The association further assures that cinemas halls are equipped with similar or better ability to ensure crowd control with a hygienic environment while maintaining social distancing norms when compared to retail shops in high street areas, local trains, metro services, airlines, railways services etc. Considering the same, we believe, it will be highly discouraging and discriminating, in case a second lockdown is imposed on cinemas.

The release lists down factors contributing to the same such as staggered show timings staggered, restricted entry and exits, availability of waiting areas, limited seating capacity and restrictions on carrying food and beverages inside the auditoriums.

In its conclusion, the association requests the government to not impose a second lockdown and issue necessary orders to allow cinema halls to operate at regular hours while maintaining safety and hygiene standards at all times.

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