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News recently broke that a vaccine for COVID-19 could be inching closer. Both Pfizer and BioNTech broke through recently with strongly effective treatments that have provided a glimmer of hope in a battle against a disease that has ravaged so much of our day-to-day lives in 2020. With that relief comes hope for the movie-theater industry, but not if Congress can’t provide financial assistance to keep the industry afloat until a vaccine makes it safe for large crowds to return to the multiplex.
With that in mind, The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) officially has called for Congress and the Administration to act now to save local movie theaters that have been devastated by the pandemic by passing relief legislation. The “Save Your Cinema” proposal asks Congress to save cinemas by including $15 billion for grants for independent venues in a COVID-19 relief package. NATO claims that the “Save Your Cinema” proposal is the only solution that will provide the bridge that theaters need to see them into next year, when the industry has a chance at recovery. As part of this campaign, theater owners also have called for continued aid to furloughed workers. John Fithian, NATO President and CEO, said on Monday...
American movie theaters need help now. Soon, a vaccine will allow our industry to return to normal, but without bipartisan action now in the lame duck session of Congress, hundreds of movie theaters will not make it. Local communities across the nation are and will be permanently damaged. This Congress and Administration still have a job to do.
Most theaters in the U.S., and around the globe, have been closed for almost eight months. The significant lack of new Hollywood product has meant that even theaters who tried to open safely, with decreased attendance and COVID-19 protocols in place, struggled to attract the audiences needed to keep their venues afloat. As part of the campaign to convince Congress to “Save Your Cinema,” NATO also produced this video, which features real-life testimonials from dedicated theater professionals.
According to NATO’s statistics, 96% of movie theaters have reported over 70% in losses in 2020. NATO is quick to point out that movie theaters employ more than 153,000 individuals nationwide and support and boost millions more jobs in surrounding retail, the cinema supply chain, and motion picture production and distribution.
How can you help? Theater owners have asked movie lovers everywhere to contact their Senators and Representatives to urge immediate action. A sample letter and automatic contacts for individual members of Congress is available at https://saveyourcinema.com/#takeaction. Movies are making their way back to theaters, continuing with the Vince Vaughn horror comedy Freaky on Friday, Nov. 13. When and where you can, safely support local cinemas. They need you now, more than ever.