Malls delay cinema reopening in GCQ areas

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 5) — Some malls in areas under general community quarantine have decided to defer the reopening of their movie theaters as they await approval and guidelines from the local governments.

The move came despite a memorandum from the Department of Trade and Industry allowing movie houses to accommodate up to their 25% percent seating capacity beginning today.

Here is a list of mall operators that have delayed the reopening of their cinemas:

Ayala Malls

“In as much as we do want to reopen our cinemas to welcome the movie-going public once again, we regret that we will not be able to do just yet as we are still waiting for the approval of the LGUs where Ayala Malls Cinemas are located,” Charmaine N. Bauzon, head of Ayala Malls Cinemas, told CNN Philippines in an interview.

“Until such time we receive formal advice from the city mayors, our cinemas shall remain closed,” Bauzon added.

SM Supermalls

“SM Cinemas will work closely with the LGUs on our reopening. We are prepared to open with strict safety standards for all customers,” Steven Tan, president of SM Supermalls, said in a statement.

Araneta City

“Araneta City is waiting for guidelines from and approval of the QC (Quezon City) government. But we have already put in place safety protocol inside our cinemas in preparation for our reopening,” the company said.


“We are not yet opening today. We will follow DOH-IATF (Department of Health and Inter-Agency Task Force) guidelines and [wait for] final LGU approval for cinema operations,” the firm said.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said their guidelines are ready, but they decided to postpone "for a day or two to observe the trend in our numbers first."

Marikina Mayor Marcy Teodoro likewise said all cinemas and game arcades in their city "are not allowed to operate yet."

Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian, meanwhile, shared that only one of the three movie houses in their city wants to open again, but its operator has yet to submit its reopening plan so it will remain closed for now.

The Inter-Agency Task Force initially said movie houses, as well as other establishments that offer entertainment and arts in GCQ areas, could resume operations on Feb. 15 once the guidelines on operating capacity were released. The implementation of policy, however, was postponed as Metro Manila mayors opposed the reopening of cinemas.

CNN Philippines Correspondent Tristan Nodalo contributed to this report