Major Cineplex let off the hook for packed fan event at Siam Paragon

A sea of people that wouldn’t have been out of place pre-pandemic drew criticism to a Friday event at Major Cineplex in the Siam Paragon shopping mall.
A sea of people that wouldn’t have been out of place pre-pandemic drew criticism to a Friday event at Major Cineplex in the Siam Paragon shopping mall.

For packing in fans at an event at a downtown shopping mall, the nation’s largest movie chain avoided charges yesterday after the police decided to go easy on them. 

Pathumwan Police on Wednesday said they would not charge Major Cineplex with breaching the Emergency Decree and violating the Communicable Disease Act for last week’s event, that saw hundreds of fans squeezed in for a celebrity fan event. The police said it was the first time the cinema breached the rules.

Sumet Sornsuth, a lawyer representing Major Cineplex, said Wednesday that he and his team had met with the authorities.

The event drew a large crowd to Siam Paragon’s Major Cineplex for a fan sesh with actors Anan “Yin” Wong and Wanarat “War” Ratsameerat, who star as a couple in the television series Love Mechanics. They are widely shipped online in prolific fan fic. 

The event received criticism for not practicing safe social distancing at a time it is widely enforced elsewhere due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In response, the mall ordered Major Cineplex to close its theater for three days, ending Tuesday. The cinema issued an apology and said it would impose stricter measures to prevent infections.

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Under the Emergency Decree, no more than 50 people can gather in public places, and then must maintain a safe distance. 

Sumet said the Major, which operates nearly 500 screens as well as bowling alleys and karaoke parlors, didn’t mean to break the law. He said the theater group has strictly enforced pandemic measures by requiring attendees to wear face masks, check customers’ body temperatures and register patrons via the government’s controversial Thailand Wins tracking system.

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