CINEMA-GOERS of all ages nationwide have shown their overwhelming support for the safety and strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) upon their return to watch movies following the lifting on the movement control order (MCO 2.0) on March 5.
According to the latest findings by Cinema Online Sdn Bhd, 98% of the 25,000 respondents who responded to its survey on leading movie information website www.cinemaonline.com.my noted that they are very satisfied with current cinema SOPs.
“Cinemas operators are indeed humbled by the huge and positive responses received from all survey respondents,” Malaysian Association of Film Exhibitors (MAFE) chairman General (Rtd) Tan Sri Mohd Ghazali Mohd Seth pointed out.
“We are now looking forward to welcoming audiences back to the cinema safely so that Malaysians can once again enjoy the cinema entertainment experience.”
MAFE has been reiterating the need for cinemas to open on back of continuous closure which has crippled the Malaysian cinema industry with year-on-year revenue plunging by 90% and total losses exceeding RM500 mil in 2020 alone.
“The public have spoken loudly and with clarity as the findings of the survey indicate that audiences are very satisfied with the stringent SOPs in place at cinemas,” said Cinema Online managing director Marcel Lariche.
“Respondents have in fact equated a cinema visit to that of visiting a shopping mall and even dining out at a restaurant.”
On March 2, Bangi Member of Parliament and DAP assistant political education director Dr Ong Kian Ming has proposed the re-opening of cinemas with stringent SOPs and drew comparison to people now being comfortable with visiting restaurants and gyms.
“There is evidently a growing level of confidence amongst the public who now feel comfortable to bring back elements of normalcy into their lives whilst still practicing SOPs as we continue to live in the new norm” opined Mohit Bhargava, general manager (sales & marketing) of TGV Cinemas, one of Malaysia’s largest cinema chains.
“They miss the cinema … period. They are looking forward to the upcoming blockbuster movies lined up in 2021. The sheer volume of respondents in three days are just astounding and the results are very overwhelming.”
On March 2, the Government announced the easing of COVID-19 restrictions for Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Penang, Melaka, Pahang, Sabah, Terengganu as well as the Federal Territories of Putrajaya and Labuan where cinemas are now allowed to re-open with strict SOPs in place.
MAFE chairman Mohd Ghazali added: “We welcome the news permitting the cinema industry to reopen with new SOPs allowing guests from the same family and home to sit in pairs.
“This certainly presents a positive multiplier effect to the retail outlets, food & beverage (F&B) businesses within the mall and the entire supply chain across the cinema industry. This definitely augurs well for the sustainability of livelihoods across all stakeholders in the cinema industry.” – March 10, 2021