Cinemas and movie halls throughout the country have recorded a loss of Rs9,000 crore in the last six months, says the Multiplex Association of India (MAI). This has also impacted the lives of two lakh people who were directly and indirectly employed in the sector.
As such, the MAI has once again appealed to the central government to allow the reopening of cinema halls. The association which represents all multiplex chains in the country, including PVR, INOX, and Cinepolis, says 10,000 cinema screens have been shut for the past six months across the country. It said they will follow the government’s protocol once they get a nod to resume services.
“The joy of watching stories unfold on the big screen: the clapping, laughing and tears. We miss it. Can’t wait to have you back at the movies! #UnlockCinemaSaveJobs,” PVR Pictures tweeted. Sharing this appeal, INOX Leisure Ltd said millions work behind the scenes to make dreams come to life on the big screen. “Their jobs are at stake. Please reopen cinemas immediately,” it said.
The film industry also wants the cinema halls to reopen and for cinema lovers to once again experience the magic of watching movies on the big screen. The hashtag #UnlockCinemaSaveJobs is gaining momentum on microblogging platform, Twitter. “Let us join in reclaiming India’s soft power – our cinema!” tweeted Actress Kirti Kulhari. She said the industry makes dreams come true and assures livelihood for millions of people. “Reopening cinema is the boost we need,” the actress added. Renowned actor Manoj Bajpayee also took to Twitter to support the reopening of cinemas. “Dreams come to life at movies on the big screen. There are millions behind the screen who make that happen. Jobs are at stake. Can’t wait for cinemas to reopen!” he said.
Furthermore, in its argument the film industry said that everything has opened in the country as part of Unlock 4. It pointed out that malls, airlines, gyms, metro, bars, restaurants and other services have reopened. The film industry said it will ensure that cinema halls will be safe for the public. “Assigning a top-most priority to the health and well-being of our guests and employees, we have developed and are ready to implement a safety plan with the most stringent SOPs to ensure a safe, secure and hygienic cinema viewing experience for movie lovers,” it said. The film industry also highlighted the fact that cinemas are equipped with better abilities to ensure crowd management in stringent hygienic environments while maintaining applicable social distancing norms. It pointed out how countries like the UK, China, United States and France have reopened cinemas while observing safety protocols.