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Last Updated : Jul 02, 2020 02:56 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Unlock 2.0: Multiplex Association of India urges government to let cinemas reopen soon

MAI has urged for an early decision to allow cinemas to open up which will help mobilization of resources in the film industry’s ecosystem and would lead to gradual resurrection.

The Multiplex Association of India (MAI) has expressed disappointment as cinemas and multiplexes continue to remain on the list of prohibited activities under Unlock 2.0 guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

“As compared to unorganised retail shops that have opened up, multiplexes and cinema are part of the organised sector, playing hosts to ‘revenue paying’ customers only and hence, in a better position to limit crowds unlike marketplaces and deploy all the mechanisms and guidelines for crowd control and social distancing,” MAI said in a statement on July 2.

The association also said the multiplex industry in India employs more than 200,000 people directly and that it is the backbone of the Indian film industry, accounting for nearly 60 percent of film business revenues.

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“The livelihoods of more than a million people – right from spot boys to make-up artistes, musicians, designers, technicians and engineers to cinema employees to directors and actors – hinges on the survival of Indian cinema,” the statement further said.

MAI has urged for an early decision to allow cinemas to open up which will help mobilization of resources in the film industry’s ecosystem and would lead to gradual resurrection.

“In fact, even after opening up, we anticipate at least 3-6 months before things return anywhere close to normal,” MAI said.

Listing out the challenges, the association said programming of new content will take some time to kick in; meanwhile, movie buffs are expected to take a cautious approach before returning to cinemas.

MAI also gave example of international markets, saying countries like France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Austria, Hong Kong, UAE, US and, more recently, Belgium and Malaysia have opened cinemas to the public with implementation of the highest degree of safety protocols.

Plus, cinemas in these markets have seen good response.

MAI said around the world, more than 20 major cinema markets have started operating and unlocking of cinemas in non-containment zones should be done in India as well.

“There must be a beginning and an opportunity must be given to us, just like some of the other sectors,” the statement said in its concluding lines.
First Published on Jul 2, 2020 02:56 pm
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