Chennai: In an appeal to the government to allow theatres to reopen on an urgent basis , the Multiplex Association of India has said the movie exhibition sector that provides employment to lakhs of people had lost an estimated Rs 9,000 crore in the last six months.
It said the sector directly employs more than two lakh people and provides employment to lakhs indirectly.
Stating that cinema is the soft power of India and theatres the main form of entertainment for millions of Indians, the association said close to 10,000 cinema screens across the country had been shut for close to six months. The movie exhibition sector has suffered financially and is now staring at job losses unless the government allows theatres to reopen, it said.
The appeal, with the hashtag UnlockCinemaSaveJobs, was published as full page advertisements in some newspapers and also posted on Twitter.
It said malls, airlines, railways, retail, restaurants, gyms and many such services have already restarted as part of Unlock India. In the fourth phase of unlocking, bars and metro services also opened up.
The association reiterated that it is equipped with better abilities to ensure crowd management in stringent hygienic environments while maintaining applicable social distancing norms.