Multiplex association seeks waiver of rent till industry recuperates

MUMBAI: The Multiplex Association of India (MAI) is seeking support from the landlords and mall owners in terms of complete waiver from payment of rent and common area maintenance (CAM) fee during the lock down and an extended recuperating period.

In a letter to all the landlords and mall developers, the MAI, which represents over 18 multiplex chains covering 600 properties and over 2,900 screens, noted that with zero revenues, its members have virtually “no ability” to pay any rent or CAM dues or meet their other fixed overheads.

“Our Industry is going through an unprecedented crisis that threatens our very existence…compared to some other businesses, which have seen a drop in revenues, multiplex revenues have overnight become zero,” Deepak Asher, president, MAI, wrote in the letter.

ET reported last week that multiplexes have individually asked their landlords to suspend rentals invoking the ‘force majeure’ clause.

“Multiplex Industry has been a prominent and long-term partner to all of you and has played a critical role in the success of shopping centres and malls across the country. Though we have seen many highs and lows in our business, over the past 20 years, we have never defaulted on our commitments to pay rent and CAM dues,” Asher wrote.

MAI has pointed out that while the lockdown may continue for the next month or two, the cinema industry will take several months to recuperate even after the lockdown is lifted.

“We will be unable to survive as an industry through this period of lockdown and recuperating, without your support,” MAI said.

The association is asking for a complete waiver from payment of rent and CAM dues during the lock down and recuperating period, to help the industry tide over this “unprecedented situation” which is completely beyond their control.

“We are seeking this temporary relief to ensure that cinema industry across the country does not die an instant death leaving a significant impact on shopping malls across the country, millions of lost jobs and unwanted litigation,” it said.

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