17 Mar – Following the Movement Control Order announcement made by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday evening, several exhibitors in Malaysia have decided to close their locations nationwide to curb the spread of COVID-19.
From 18 to 31 March 2020, operations at local cinema chains such as GSC, LFS Cinemas, MBO Cinemas, mmCineplexes, and TGV Cinemas will be temporarily suspended.
GSC, TGV, MBO and mmCineplexes had made announcements on social media, stating that refunds can be made at the end of the Movement Control Order period by moviegoers that have already purchased their tickets for shows that were originally scheduled within the affected dates.
As for LFS Cinemas, all its locations will temporarily cease operations starting from today itself, 17 March.
Prior to the Movement Control Order, MBO Cinemas had implemented "Social Distancing Seating" at its locations nationwide, which means there will be a gap between alternate rows and every two seats to allow audiences to pick seats further from each other at a safer distance.
Extra precautions taken at MBO Cinemas to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) include hand sanitizers located nearby the Usher Point and nearby KECIL halls, and antiseptic wipes are provided upon request at the Usher Point to wipe down cinema seats.
mmCineplexes had also ensured its cinemas are properly sanitized. As advised by the health authorities, hand sanitizers are also provided and temperature monitoring are carried out at all its cinemas.
Mr. Jason Teo, Director of Marketing & Business Development of mmCineplexes had previously told Cinema Online that despite the postponement of some blockbusters this month, mmCineplexes was still able to program a good mix of Hollywood, Asian and local movies for cinema patrons to enjoy.
Allegedly, there was an estimated 40% drop in the overall local cinema admissions last weekend due to the blockbuster postponements caused by the virus. Movies like "No Time To Die", "Fast and Furious 9", "A Quiet Place Part II" and "Mulan" have all been moved from their original release dates.
At the moment, other countries in the region have yet to momentarily close their cinemas but due to the rapidly widening spread of the outbreak, closures might be a possibility.