NEW DELHI: The Multiplex Association of India has written to malls and land developers to waive rent dues and common area maintenance (CAM) as all theatres have been shut and cinema operations suspended in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
“As compared to some other businesses, which have seen a revenue drop, multiplex revenues have overnight become zero," the association said in a statement.
“The multiplex industry has been a very prominent and long-term partner to all of you and has played a critical role in the success of shopping centres and malls across the country...We have never defaulted on our commitments to pay rent and CAM to our partners, the mall owners. However, with zero revenues, we have virtually no ability to pay any rent or CAM dues or meet our other fixed overheads," the association added.
It also said while cinema operations may remain formally suspended as part of the lockdown for the next month or so, it will take some time to get the content pipeline going and win the confidence of audiences to have them visit theatres and feel safe.
The Multiplex Association of India is the aegis body under which 600 regional and national multiplexes are operational, with more than 2,900 screens. It includes chains like PVR Cinemas, INOX Leisure Ltd, Cinepolis India, among others.
Before Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the 21-day nationwide lockdown on 24 March, state governments had shut cinema halls as part of overall commercial operations and filmmakers had postponed big-ticket releases indefinitely. Among the films slated for release during these weeks were Akshay Kumar-starrer Sooryavanshi, Yash Raj Films’ Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar and sports drama ‘83.