GOING to the movies have been one of the modern Chinese New Year ‘traditions’ for millions of Malaysians, but this year might be the first time many traditions are disrupted due to the movement control order (MCO).
Cinemas all around the nation have already endured closures over 10 months since March last year, causing over 90% of loses in the industry year-on-year (yoy).
According to the Malaysian Association of Film Exhibitors (Mafe), the industry is estimated to be losing more than RM1.3 mil on a daily basis (total loss over the 10 months have already reached RM400 mil).
Due to the halt in operations, cinema operators were forced to significantly reduce its staff and some locations ceased operating altogether.
Mafe also noted that cinema operators have yet received any form of financial assistance from the Government despite various stimulus packages announced and many appeals being made by the cinema exhibitors to the relevant authorities.
Cinemas continue to follow the stringent standard operating procedure (SOP) guidelines set out by the authorities and the industry at this moment needs desperate financial assistance to sustain Malaysian cinemas which employ a sizable local workforce nationwide,” Mafe said in a statement earlier today.
With the imminent rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine and re-opening of other economic sectors including restaurants, coupled with the tighter SOPs set out by the Government, cinema operators and movie fans remain hopeful that they will be able to enjoy the big screen experience again soon.
“Chinese New Year have always been among the busiest periods of the year (for the cinema industry). This year however, we are regrettably unable to do the norm, but we remain hopeful that we will once again able to welcome moviegoers soon,” it added. – Feb 11, 2021