News is circulating on the probable closure of MBO cinema’s in the country, after a weekly English business portal reported sighting a notice on the intention of executing a liquidation process. This is usually conducted when owners find it impossible to keep the business afloat and sell of assets to pay creditors.
The predicament was coming for most entertainment outlets of such nature but more so for the cinema’s who were struggling to get customers back into their halls even after the easing of the restriction order. Cinema’s have been hit badly by the pandemic where social distancing does not bode well in a movie hall setting. These venues make their revenue in filling the seats even with new process and finding ways to navigate around the SOP, the uncertainty over new film releases is another reason staying in business becomes more difficult. Besides, moviegoers have no reason to buy tickets at the moment, watching reruns is not worth the risk.
MBO was founded in 2003 after incumbents TGV and Golden Screen were seen to be dominating the cinema industry. The boutique outfit set to disrupt the duopoly which it succeeded, MBO brought movie watching experience to neighborhood malls that could not lure the big boys. This was well received by the patrons and smaller town folks, it quickly grew and became a formidable chain by 2017. It become a favorite among Malaysians offering cheaper ticket prices and always close to a township. MBO was close to being in every state showing the latest Hollywood releases to much joy of the people in outer skirts. The latest news of closure is a severe blow to the film industry giving a grim outlook on the viability of such entertainment centres in the future.
Just when things were improving the third wave experienced by the country and CMCO restriction imposed in Klang Valley and other parts of Malaysia, seems to be the final nail for MBO.