"We Can't Survive" - Malaysia Cinemas in Danger of Closing Permanently

"We Can't Survive" - Malaysia Cinemas in Danger of Closing Permanently
Feb 26, 2021
11:04 am

It is without a doubt that the frequent on and off MCOs, CMCOs, and RMCOs have caused a huge strain to many different industries thus affecting our economy. Unfortunately, some industries have it way worse than others. One of them being the local cinema industry.

Image via Viral Cham


Our cinema industry is currently in complete desperation to operate according to the Malaysian Association of Film Exhibitors (MAFE). They stressed on the fact that since many non-essential industries such as hair saloons, beauty centers, spas, and casinos are allowed to open, cinemas should be able to operate as well.

It’s Been Too Long

Cinemas in our country have been partially and fully closed since the first round of MCO last year despite the fact that they’ve been following strict SOPs. These include:

  • Mandatory check-in
  • Temperatur checks
  • Spaced Seating
  • Frequent Sanitization

There has also been no Covid-19 cases associated with cinemas locally or globally.

Image via Malay Mail


The Cinema Crisis

Do you know that collectively, cinemas in Malaysia have contributed a total of more than RM1.08 billion in income and over RM250 million in entertainment tax duties to our economy?. The cinema industry is one of the key players in contributing to our economy.

However with how the situation has been for the last 11 months, the industry will not be able to contribute the hefty amount of taxes this year due to the loss of over 90% of revenue. With less taxes, the government will also not be able to to spend on its citizens.

Image via The Guardian


We have yet to talk about the fates of those who have been working in the cinema industry. Many were retrenched and got pay-cuts due to the industry’s need to downsize. This also resulted in the permanent closure of a few branches.

(Cheras Leisure Mall GSC operated since 1995) Image via KL Foodie

(Berjaya Times Square GSC operated since 2005) Image via Berjaya Times Square

Image via Malaysia Gazette


The large supply-chain that the cinema industry in involved has also heavily affected their relationships with manufacturing, logistics, cleaning, F&B, retail, and more.

In The End, Will Cinemas Be Able To Make It?

It was shocking news to everyone when the third-largest cinema company in Malaysia, MBO Cinemas, were forced into voluntary liquidation last year. It proved that the cinema industry is really on it’s knees to survive.

Image via The Rakyat Post


Sadly, even the RM325 million booster aid set aside by the government for the creative industry starting last year did not involve the cinema industry. They are even exempted from all stimulus packages.

The government needs to intervene and take this issue seriously because they can’t deny how much they need the cinema industry to help boost back the Malaysian economy.


Going to the cinemas have long been regarded as part of Malaysian culture. Uni students would flock to the cinemas in between classes just to pass time. For some people, watching movies with friends is a weekly occasion. Some families reserve movie nights once a week. Our country is also home to a variety of different cinema-themed halls that many other countries do not have. Just to think a future without cinemas in Malaysia seems so unimaginable. Bring our cinemas back!


Credits to MSN Lifestyle for the initial coverage.

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