11 Mar - Since March 5th, Malaysians have once again been able to enjoy visiting cinemas across the nation following strict SOPs, in what was deemed the largest ever industry survey conducted, Malaysians of all ages from across the country have shown their overwhelming support for the safety and SOPs in place for them to return to the cinemas.
In just 72 hours, almost 25,000 people responded to an independent online survey conducted by Cinema Online Sdn Bhd via Malaysia's leading Movie Information website www.cinema.com.my
Key Findings show overwhelming support for cinema safety measures & reopening: "98% of Malaysians say they are very satisfied with Cinema SOPs."
"Cinemas Operators are indeed humbled by the huge and positive responses received from all those who have taken the survey, we are now looking forward to welcoming audiences back to the cinema safely so that Malaysians can once again enjoy the cinema entertainment experience.", said Malaysian Association of Film Exhibitors (MAFE) chairman General (Rtd) Tan Sri Mohd Ghazali Mohd Seth.
MAFE has been reiterating the need for Cinemas to open (on back of continuous closure which has crippled the Malaysian cinema industry, losing up to 90 per cent of revenue year-on-year and more than RM500 million in total losses incurred in the year 2020 alone. The association has been steadfast in its stance of sustained appeals to the Government to reconsider the opening of cinemas.
"The public have spoken loudly and with clarity as the findings of the survey indicate that audiences are very satisfied with the stringent SOPs in place at cinemas. Respondents have in fact equated a cinema visit to that of visiting a shopping mall and even dining out at a restaurant, this reinforces the views shared on March 2nd, 2021 by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament for Bangi and Assistant Political Education Director for the Democratic Action Party (DAP) where he endorses reopening of Cinemas with stringent SOPs and draws close comparisons to people now being comfortable with visiting restaurants and gyms. There is evidently a growing level of confidence amongst the public who now feel comfortable to bring back elements of normalcy into their lives whilst still practicing SOPs as we continue to live in the new norm" said Mohit Bhargava, GM Sales & Marketing, TGV Cinemas, one of the largest cinema chains in Malaysia.
"They miss the cinemas... period. They are looking forward to the upcoming blockbuster movies lined up in 2021. The sheer volume of respondents in 3 days are just astounding and the results are very overwhelming. We are confident cinemas will open for good as the government lifts the current MCO in most parts of Malaysia", said Marcel Lariche, the Managing Director of Cinema Online Sdn Bhd.
On 2 March 2021 the Government announced the easing of COVID-19 restrictions for Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Penang, Melaka, Pahang, Sabah, Terengganu as well as the federal territories of Putrajaya and Labuan where cinemas are now allowed to reopen with strict SOPs in place.
MAFE chairman General (Rtd) Tan Sri Mohd Ghazali Mohd Seth added to say, "We welcome the news permitting the Cinema industry to reopen with new SOPs allowing guests from the same family and home to sit in pairs. This certainly presents a positive multiplier effect to the retail outlets, food and beverage businesses within the Mall and the entire supply chain across the Cinema Industry. This definitely augurs well for the sustainability of livelihoods across all stakeholders in the cinema industry."