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Multiplex Association writes to Maharashtra CM against second lockdown

New Delhi: Underprivileged children watch the special screening of a film at PVR, organised by Delhi Police, in New Delhi,  Monday, Feb. 22, 2021 (PTI Photo/Kamal Kishore)(PTI02_22_2021_000054A) (PTI)Premium
New Delhi: Underprivileged children watch the special screening of a film at PVR, organised by Delhi Police, in New Delhi, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021 (PTI Photo/Kamal Kishore)(PTI02_22_2021_000054A) (PTI)

  • With zero revenues for eight months between March and November 2020, and meagre revenues thereafter, the cinema exhibition industry is facing possible bankruptcies, MAI said

New Delhi: The Multiplex Association of India (MAI) has written to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, saying that a second lockdown, if implemented in view of rising covid-19 cases, would hit cinemas, retail and shopping industries.

“Such measures that curtail smooth operations will not only deter genuine movie-goers and shoppers, who have slowly returned to cinemas and shopping centers, from visiting cinemas and malls, but also put into motion a downward spiralling effect on cinema industry and modern retail that could derail recovery of these segments," MAI said in a statement.

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MAI is a group of cinema operators that works with regulatory bodies and industry partners nationwide to highlight opportunities, and address various challenges faced by the cinema exhibition sector.

With zero revenues for eight months between March and November 2020, and meagre revenues thereafter, the cinema exhibition industry is facing possible bankruptcies, the statement added. The cinema exhibition sector is a critical part of a functioning film industry, directly employing lakhs of people and contributing to indirect employment of millions.

Media reports with respect to a second lockdown in Maharashtra has already resulted in a lot of films postponing their releases, and an imposition of the same will lead to all Hindi films (and many other films in other languages) being postponed, MAI said.

“A second lockdown will be extremely detrimental and would lead to severe and irreversible consequences for cinema exhibition sector," the statement said, pointing out that cinemas are equipped with similar or better ability to ensure crowd control with a hygienic environment while maintaining social distancing norms, when compared to retail shops in high street areas, local trains, and so on. It would be highly discouraging and discriminating, in case a second lockdown is imposed on cinemas, it added.

Further, there is no evidence to suggest movie theatres are a source of covid outbreaks. “Given the dire economic and financial impact of the epidemic on our sector… we would like to request the government to...not issue a second lockdown order with respect to cinemas, multiplexes, shopping centers and malls…and to issue necessary orders to allow them to operate as per regular operational hours," the statement said.

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