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Cinemas Keep Extension Plans Despite Decreased Ticket Sales

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Cinemas Keep Extension Plans Despite Decreased Ticket Sales | Samui Times
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Two major cinema operators are keeping plans to expand venues, even after social distancing measures will undoubtedly decrease the amount of ticket sales per screening.

Pimsiri Thongrompo, marketing director at SF Corporation, operator of the SF cinema chain, said despite the overall costs increasing, there are no plans to increase the price of tickets. She added that the company is renovating existing cinemas to meet social distancing requirements and building a new SF premium cinema that will adhere to the same measures.

“Reopening our cinemas with limitations will be even harder because the number of seats we can sell has to decrease to 25% of capacity to meet social distancing requirements. We still have fixed costs for human resource, services and rental fees, totalling about 100 million baht per month. Moreover, we were informed we could reopen only a few days in advance, which is not enough time to promote movies.”

Ms Pimsiri said they will still open four new branches this year despite cinemas being shut down for 75 days this year already. “Closing our cinemas for 75 days was the most difficult move for us,” said Ms Pimsiri.

Two branches have already opened in Chon Buri. The other two are slated for the second half this year, with locations yet to be disclosed.

The new cinemas will be brighter and easier for customers to see, she said.

The company has already reopened all SF cinemas across the country except Phuket, totalling 400 screens. The Phuket cinema is undergoing a major renovation.

The company has seven movies ready for release and is scheduled to show big blockbuster movies from the middle of June on into July.

Likewise, Narute Jiensnong, chief marketing officer of Major Cineplex Group, the operator of Major Cineplex, said the company is keeping its plans to open 40 new screens this year, focusing mainly on Big C and Tesco Lotus anchors in upcountry areas.

The company also plans to produce 20 Thai movies this year, doubling that of last year’s amount.

Big blockbuster movies will be shown every week from the fourth quarter this year, up from one movie every two weeks previously, Mr Narute said.

All Major Cineplex branches have reopened, but only 25% of the seats are available because of social distancing. The company expects about 90% of the available seats will be booked.

Major has maintained ticket prices at the box office, but is offering a 30-50 baht discount per ticket booked via its website and online channels.

Before the virus crisis, Thailand’s movie market was worth an estimated 10 billion baht a year, with market growth averaging 10-15% annually.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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