The Multiplex Association of India (MAI) has appealed to landlords across the country to waive off rent and common area maintenance (CAM) for all the multiplex operators during the period of the current nation-wide lockdown.
India is currently under the lockdown with around 1.3 billion people asked to stay home in view of the coronavirus outbreak.
Formed under the aegis of FICCI in 2000, the national multiplex trade body represents more than 18 regional and national multiplex chains, including PVR, INOX, Carnival and Cinepolis, and operates more than 2900 screens across the country.
In a statement released by the MAI, its President Deepak Asher said due to the shutdown, "our Industry is going through an unprecedented crisis that threatens our very existence."
"As compared to some other businesses, which have seen a revenue drop, multiplex revenues have overnight become zero. This has put us in a very grim situation as we struggle to meet our commitments to pay our staff salaries on time and meet our fixed overheads," the statement read.
The association said, with with zero revenues, they have "virtually no ability to pay any rent or CAM dues or meet our other fixed overheads."
"While the lockdown may continue for the next month or two, the cinema industry will take several months ('recuperating period') even after the lockdown is lifted, to get back to its feet, as the pipeline of content begins to flow again, and our patrons gain the confidence to step out of their homes and start visiting crowded places like cinemas.
"We will be unable to survive as an industry through this period of lockdown and recuperating, without your support. We seek your support in granting us complete waiver from payment of rent & CAM dues during the lock down and recuperating period, to help us tide over this unprecedented situation which is completely beyond our control," the statement added.
The association said they are seeing a "temporary relief" to ensure that cinema industry does not die an "instant death" leaving a significant impact on shopping malls across the country.