Filmgarde Cineplexes announced in a statement that it would pause operations at its cinemas from today (May 18) until May 31 at the earliest.
A spokesman said that the pause in operations would apply to all of its three outlets at Century Square, Bugis+ and Leisure Park Kallang.
It will reopen them when it feels business conditions are right.
Filmgarde is the first and only Singapore cinema operator to voluntarily halt operations without it being necessary to do so.
The staff at Filmgarde will continue to receive their salaries during the temporary closure, with the break also serving to protect the health of its front-line staff.
This moves comes as Singapore has transitioned back to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) to curb the transmission of the Covid-19 virus.
To reduce risks of community transmission, indoor “mask-off” activities such as dining in F&B establishments have ceased from Monday (May 17). Other activities which will also not be allowed during this period include strenuous indoor exercise class or strenuous individual and group indoor sports and exercise activities.
Cinemas can allow up to 50 persons in a hall per screening without pre-event testing, and with safe distancing and group sizes limited to two persons. Food and beverages are not to be consumed within the cinema premises.
The measures will be put in place until June 13, and have hurt box-office takings significantly. Furthermore, Hollywood releases have either been delayed or moved to online platforms.
Sherman Ong, director of Filmgarde Cineplexes, said in a statement that the company “fully supports the regulatory measures,” and that Filmgarde will keep a close eye on the situation.
“Cinema-going is a much loved social experience in Singapore and we look forward to reopening in the coming days,” said Sherman.
Featured Image Credit: Filmgarde