PVR Cinemas is one of the largest chian of multiplex cinemas. This Cinema has a chain of more than 870 screens. The owners of the cinema have decided that they will envoke ‘force majeure’ clause in their rental contract so they don’t have to pay rent for the lockdown period.
A source revealed, “PVR has opted to insist on not paying any rent for the period of closure. PVR does not own properties and all of its screens operate on rent.”
“There have been no operations for the past two weeks. It will be May 15 for things retail space and malls to normalise, even if the lockdown is lifted before schedule. With everything shut, both sides have suffered losses. It’s not just for multiplex operators alone. We need to discuss.”
A business development officer with PVR Cinemas said, “The central government’s order itself talks about ‘force majeure’ since these are things beyond anyone’s control. We have nothing specific to add. It is for the Union law ministry to clarify, if there are issues over implementing this for the period of shutdown.”
Several states including Karnataka and Tamil Nadu ordered the closure of cinemas and malls, much before the 21-day lockdown announced by the Centre which came into force on March 25.
A retail industry source said, “Not just retail shops and multiplexes in malls, even food court operators and companies maintaining parking spaces are hit. They have zero revenue, but they must pay salaries to their employees as per the directive from the Centre and the state governments.”
“While the slowdown phase is on, the retail sector will have to adopt to current realities. It is a fact that retailers are currently not generating revenue. Large mall developers like Lodha and Prestige have proactively waived off rents for the duration of the lockdown. This is reasonable as retailers are currently not generating any revenue,” Anuj Kejriwal, managing director & CEO, Anarock Retail told TOI
Kejriwal said, “In fact, after the Covid-19 scare is over and retail trade resumes, such tenants will stick to mall developers, who have shown such flexibility.”