6 Apr - The Malaysian Association of Film Exhibitors (MAFE) announced today that cinemas in Malaysia will continue to be closed until the end of the month.
The decision was made due to "the ongoing COVID-19 situation globally and the extension of the Movement Control Order (MCO) in Malaysia until 14 April 2020," stated MAFE.
"This has not been an easy time for film exhibitors, but it is a moment for us to come together more than ever.
"Malaysia is at a turning point with the coronavirus and it will take all our combined efforts to control the spread of COVID-19. While we intend to reopen the cinemas as soon as circumstances allow, we believe it is important that we put the nation's interest, as well as our customers' and employees' health and well-being first."
MAFE members that have confirmed their participation in the extended closure are Golden Screen Cinemas Sdn Bhd, Berjaya-GSC Sdn Bhd, TGV Cinemas Sdn Bhd, MM2 Screen Management Sdn Bhd (mmCineplexes) and Lotus Five Star Cinemas (M) Sdn Bhd.
MBO Cinemas has yet to confirm their closure. When contacted by Cinema Online, Mr Cheah Chun Wai (MBO Cinemas Chief Operating Officer) stated, "It is too premature to make any decision now, MBO Cinemas will monitor the situation and comply with the government's directive. As a respect to the malls where we are situated, we are also obliged to have a mutual agreement, so let's wait for further announcements or an update."
Other local cinema exhibitors such as Paragon, Emperor, Bona Cinemas, Max Cinemas and more have not confirmed their participation as well. As of press time, their comments are still pending.
Cinema exhibitors like Amerin, CineHouse, Mega Cineplex and Megalong will also follow suit and extend their closure to the end of April.
The nationwide temporary closure was started last month, 18 March, when the local government enforced the MCO, which prohibits large gatherings, such as in cinemas, and requires citizens to stay at home at all times except for necessities and medical needs.
Exhibitors in other countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Singapore have also temporarily closed their cinemas to prevent gatherings in the interest of their citizens' and customers' safety.