Thursday, May 28, 2020

CEO Yeoh Oon Lai Predicts TGV Cinemas May Reopen In July

While many of us miss the experience of watching movies on the big screen, do we feel safe returning to cinemas once the “relaxed MCO” lifts?

BFM News recently sat down with Yeoh Oon Lai, CEO of TGV Cinemas, to discuss if cinemas have place in a post-Covid-19 environment – especially now that streaming services have surge in recent months.

The new norm will require social distancing, and with that in mind, cinema halls will never reach its full capacity (at least for the near future). “Now it’s true that we’ll be sacrificing a lot of capacity, but we view all social distancing and safety measures as a priority and absolutely necessary at the current time,” explained Yeoh.

He continued, “So our safety roadmap is divided into multiple phases. Phase 1 will see the maximum standard across the board in which the social distance is the strictest. The customers will have buffer zones in front, behind, and to their sides. This will eliminate any close contact situations and provide maximum safety. Subsequently, Phase 2 and 3 will see the social distancing standards and requirements progressively lightening up.”

Major Hollywood studios have postponed its movie releases. So even if local cinemas were to reopen in July (as predicted by Yeoh if – touch wood – another wave of Covid-19 does not occur), there may not be any new content to entice movie-goers.

Is there a market for reruns in Malaysia? Yeoh seems to think so, provided it’s packaged in a compelling way. “There’s always nostalgia for movies that were memorable and defined a certain period of our life. Everyone has a movie from the past which they wouldn’t mind viewing again on the big screen where the experience is unique,” said the TGV CEO.

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