The Multiplex Association of India (MAI) has appealed to the government to consider reopening theatres in the country. Shut down since mid-March, the film exhibition sector that directly employs more than two lakh people is estimated to have lost up to Rs 9,000 crore in the last six months. The government has allowed public places like malls, restaurants, hotels to recommence operations and also gyms and yoga institutes of late.
Multiplex chain PVR on Monday reported consolidated net losses of Rs 226 crore in the three months ended June 30 as compared to profits of Rs 18 crore during the year-ago period. CMD Ajay Bijli is hopeful that by the first week of October, cinemas should get an indication to reopen. “Cinema is an incomplete offering till such time that you get brand new movies. By Dussehra, if the brand new movies start coming, occupancy levels will be much better,” Bijli said in an interaction with a local news channel.
In its appeal, the MAI said that more than 85 countries have fully reopened cinemas across the globe. As cinemas continue to stay shut, film producers have launched their movies on over-the-top (OTT) platforms. An estimated 7,000 single screens and 3,500 multiplex screens across India have been closed for operations since March.