Jakarta cinema operators unconvinced of reopening with theaters limited to 25 percent capacity

A Starium theatre at CGV Grand Indonesia in Oct 2019. <em>Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid for Coconuts Media</em>
A Starium theatre at CGV Grand Indonesia in Oct 2019. Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid for Coconuts Media

With Jakarta in the transitional period of the Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB), cinemas are among the leisure facilities permitted to reopen, but operators say there may be no financial benefit to do so due to limitations imposed by the health protocol.

Under transitional PSBB, movie theaters are allowed to reopen to 25 percent capacity, with all the usual health precautions such as mask wearing and physical distancing mandatory.

The Indonesian Cinema Management Association (GPBSI) has not welcomed the policy, as cinemas are unlikely to cover their operational costs with movie theaters permitted to only be filled to a quarter of their capacity.

“That is half-hearted, we might as well [not reopen] if capacity is limited to 25 percent,” GPBSI Chairman Djonny Syafruddin said today.

Djonny lamented that the Jakarta provincial government did not coordinate with GPBSI before introducing the policy, as the administration previously was going to allow movie theaters to open to half capacity before Jakarta was forced to enforce strict PSBB amid soaring COVID-19 cases.

Djonny said that before PSBB was enforced, a trial reopening at 50 percent capacity was successfully conducted at the iconic XXI Djakarta Theater, where visitors observed physical distancing and mask wearing requirements at all times.

Indonesia’s two main cinema franchises, XXI and CGV, have yet to officially announce that they are reopening movie theaters in Jakarta during transitional PSBB. CGV has, however, reopened cinemas in Bandung to 50 percent capacity. Movie theaters in the West Java capital may remain operational subject to bi-weekly reviews from the city administration.

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