Don't impose another lockdown: Multiplex Association writes to Maharashtra CM
The Multiplex Association of India (MAI), along with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), wrote a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to not impose another lockdown, pointing out that such a decision will be detrimental to the cinema business, retail, and shopping industries. Instead, MAI wants Thackeray to allow cinema halls to function normally.
MAI appreciates government's efforts but doesn't want a lockdown
Thursday's letter comes in the backdrop of rumors that Thackeray's government could impose another lockdown to curtail the spread of the virus. MAI, which represents all multiplexes like PVR, INOX and Cinepolis, said that if a lockdown is imposed it will "negatively impact the cinema, retail, and shopping industry" and make revival cumbersome. While opposing a lockdown, MAI said it appreciates the government's efforts.
A difficult eight-month-long tenure was highlighted
In the letter, the losses incurred after last year's lockdown were mentioned. "With zero revenues in eight months (March 13, 2020, till November 9, 2020), and thereafter meager revenues in the last five months (November 9, 2020, till March 31, 2021), the cinema exhibition industry is now facing possible bankruptcies," the body said. It was underlined that multiplexes provide direct and indirect employment to lakhs of people.
The postponement of movies will have irreversible consequences: Letter
The letter said that a second lockdown will lead to the postponement of movies and will eventually create a hostile situation for cinemas across India. "To summarize this point, a second lockdown will be extremely detrimental and would lead to severe and irreversible consequences for cinema exhibition sector," the letter read. MAI appealed to the government to not let multiplexes suffer like last year.
Notably, several movies have already deferred their releases
The letter, signed by MIA President Kamal Gianchandani, urged Thackeray to let people enjoy cinemas and shopping in a safe environment. "We also urge you to allow cinemas and malls to operate as per regular operational hours," the letter concluded. To recall, movies like Chehre, Bunty Aur Babli 2, Haathi Mere Saathi changed their release schedule over the raging coronavirus situation.