The Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN) on Wednesday expressed worry over dwindling patronage.
They lamented the fact that movies are being listed directly on movie streaming platforms, instead of cinemas where they could be watched by a wider public.
CEAN’s Chairman, Patrick Lee, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the cinema experience is different from watching a movie on a mobile phone or computer.
Lee said the association was already discussing with the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) and online streaming platforms, to arrive at a lasting solution.
Mr Lee said: “We are speaking with the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) and Netflix to see that those movies be allowed to have some streaming time at the cinema. We welcome such investments because they will help the industry grow,” he told NAN.
He also assured film enthusiasts across the country of their safety against COVID-19 in all cinemas.
Lee said considering the upsurge in the new variant of the pandemic, cinemas across the federation were also on alert to ensure that visitors strictly comply with COVID-19 safety protocols.
“We are taking the new variant of COVID-19 pandemic seriously, we are aware of the upsurge and we keep reminding our members daily on the need to adhere to the safety protocols.
“We are still keeping to the safety protocols of handwashing, social distancing, hand sanitising, temperature checks and the hall capacity agreed for each state.
“In Lagos State, we agreed 50 percent hall capacity and we are keeping to the rule. We are also sending reminders to the 54 cinemas in the country, who are also sending to their staff to ensure the COVID-19 safety protocols are kept.
“We are taking it seriously and happy that no case of COVID-19 pandemic had been linked to any cinema yet and we pray and hope that will continue,” he said.