Guwahati: Using the hashtag #UnlockCinemaSaveJobs, the Multiplex Association of India appealed to the government to reopen cinema halls once again. The cinema body's appeal was published as full-page advertisements in some newspapers and also posted on the micro-blogging platform Twitter.
According to the association, the movie exhibition sector that provides employment to lakhs of people had lost an estimated Rs 9,000 crore over the last six months after the coronavirus-induced lockdown kicked in.
The association contended that most countries across the world have allowed cinemas to operate. "We request the Government Of India to allow us to operate as well. We are committed to offering a safe and hygienic cinema experience. If aviation, metro, malls, wellness and restaurants can be allowed to operate, the cinema industry too deserves a chance," the association wrote in its plea.
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!#UnlockCinemaSaveJobs pic.twitter.com/lcE2h4ZGlz— P V R C i n e m a s (@_PVRCinemas) September 15, 2020
The cinema body further added that the sector directly employs more than two lakh people and provides employment to lakhs of people, indirectly.
The film body further contended that malls, airlines, railways, retail, restaurants, gyms and many such services have already restarted as part of 'Unlock India', and in the fourth phase of unlocking, bars and metro services also opened up.
It needs mention here that the body, in July, introduced several SoPs such as paperless tickets, seat distancing, staggered intervals, regulated entry and exit and regular sanitisation in preparation to reopen the halls. It reiterated that it is equipped with better abilities to ensure crowd management.
INOX Leisure, sharing the appeal, 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."
Although the Central government has relaxed most of the lockdown associated restrictions, cinemas and schools are yet to reopen in the country.