The Malaysian Association of Film Exhibitors (MAFE) announced on 30 October 2020 that all 169 cinemas across the country will be temporarily closed starting this November. The influx of volatile Covid-19 cases have contributed to crippling the cinema industry here with the massive drop in movie goers.
“Commencing November 2020, cinemas will be progressively suspending movie screenings and/or concessions operations at their locations, however, will continue to monitor the situation and react accordingly as market conditions improve.”MAFE press release
MAFE also added in their press release that the decision to collectively close all cinemas was a direct result of the recent re-implementation of the conditional movement control order (CMCO) due to a large spike in Covid-19 cases. The industry suffered extensive revenue losses due to a 90% drop in year-on-year ticket sales, and the lack of new blockbuster releases.
Cinemas also had to tackle enormous pressures of implementing strict Covid-related SOPs to ensure strong compliance for the safety of all movie-goers. With ticket sales massively affected due to minimising and physical distancing, cinemas have been hemorrhaging more money on top of immediate revenue losses.
“Cinemas are loved by all Malaysians, we are a key social, communal, & cultural epicentre in Malaysia. We help bring to life stories from local & global artists for millions of Malaysians to enjoy with their loved ones each year.
“Whilst this decision was not easy, it is in response to an increasingly challenging landscape for cinemas, and as an industry we believe it to be a necessary step for the long term preservation of Malaysian cinemas, so we can continue our role of contributing to the social, economic, and cultural fabric of our nation in the long run.”Cheah Chun Wai, President of MAFE
MAFE has not made any comments on when cinemas will re-open again, instead they informed the public that what happens in the next few months will be “critical to the continuance of the Malaysian cinema industry.” For now, most will have to make do with online movie streaming services.
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