Covid cases in Malayasia are surging day by day. Yesterday, the country reported 2,000 new cases and 6 deaths increasing the death fatality to 277. Due to these new cases, the parliament authorities are coming up with new health protocols to control the numbers. Azhar Azizan Harun stated that they will have to take several strict measures so that the country’s activities won’t be affected. The country is under partial lockdown and is planning to extend it for a few more months. All the economic activities are functioning except schools, movements, gatherings, and religious institutes.
Why have the Malaysian Cinemas been shut down again?
As the second wave has hit, the necessary authorities have instructed all the theatres to shut down. The Malaysian Association of Film Exhibitors (MAFE) announced the news where cinemas were shut from 2nd November.
Two of the largest chains, Golden Chain Cinemas and TGV Cinemas are the most affected because of this decision but the association believes that the environment is still unsafe. As a result, the opening of theatres would only increase the risk of contracting the virus. The country was under lockdown from 18th March but in October there was an escalation in the number which has made it difficult to control. The country has around 33,000 confirmed cases to date.
— TGV Cinemas (@TGVCinemas) November 4, 2020
As a result, many movies have postponed their release to next year because of which there is a lack of new releases. Also, due to this people are not going to the theatres. The theatres will be shut till December and if necessary, the authorities may extend the shutdown period. They were previously shut from March to June. However, in July, they got to reopen but only to run at loss. People are not going to the theatres or any public places because of the fear of catching the virus which seems fair. There has been more than a 90% decline in the sales with the Malayasian exhibition industry losing more than 35 million worth of income a day. Many cinema associations have started pivoting to different sectors such as online gaming, shopping, and more to earn revenue.
What is the situation of the theatres across other countries?
Theatres all across the globe have been shut down and are running in huge losses. The United States recently opened many of its theatres. Movies such as ‘Tenet‘, ‘Mulan‘, and more also went on to become a part of the theatrical release. However, many production houses have sold their movies to OTT platforms such as Netflix, Disney+, and more. These streaming platforms have seen a huge surge in the number of subscribers. Many still feel it is unsafe to watch a movie in a theatre and probably the fear will be around till the vaccine is out. COVID-19 has killed more than thousands worldwide and only a proper vaccine can get things back to normal now.