India went into complete lockdown on March 25 this year following a televised address by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an attempt to contain the coronavirus pandemic which has claimed countless lives and decimated an already staggering global economy.

Since then, the government has been unlocking certain sectors in a phase-wise manner. However, while domestic travel is allowed and offices, markets, and shopping complexes have been allowed to function under certain guidelines, cinema houses and multiplexes are still under the prohibited category.

Naturally, this has irked The Multiplex Association of India (MAI) which, on Thursday, requested the government to allow the operation of cinema houses in non-containment zones, reports The Hindustan Times.

“The livelihoods of more than a million people – right from the spot boys to makeup artists, musicians, designers, technicians and engineers to cinema employees to directors and actors – hinges on the survival of Indian cinema. The lockdown has literally brought the entire industry to a standstill with losses mounting every passing day. An early decision to allow cinemas to open up will only help the mobilisation of resources in the film industry’s ecosystem and would lead to gradual resurrection,” read a statement from the association.

The association also stated that the lives of nearly 2,00,000 people in the country depend on the multiplex industry and that the industry accounts for nearly 60 percent of the film revenues.

Read the full statement below: