Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, Sofia Coppola ask US Congress to allocate funds for movie theatre revival

James Cameron, Clint Eastwood, Directors Guild of America, and other celebrities and organisations, in a letter to Congress, urges them to redirect unallocated funds from CARES Act to revive small and medium-scale theatres in the US.

FP Trending October 01, 2020 10:39:29 IST
Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, Sofia Coppola ask US Congress to allocate funds for movie theatre revival

Cinema hall. Representational Image

Several noted filmmakers such as Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, Sofia Coppola, Clint Eastwood, along with several other bodies have signed a letter to Congress, urging them to save the dying small and medium movie theatres across the US.

The letter asks Congress to allocate funds to revive one of the hardest-hit industries. Other signatories include the Directors Guild of America, the National Association of Theatre Owners and the Motion Picture Association.

The letter sent to House and Senate leaders (Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy) says “Movie theatres are in dire straits, and we urge you to redirect unallocated funds from the CARES Act to proposals that help businesses that have suffered the steepest revenue drops due to the pandemic, or to enact new proposals”.

The letter warns that without any solution specifically “designed for their circumstances”, the movie theatres will not be able to survive the hit of the pandemic. The note has pointed out some grim figures as well that suggests that 93 percent of the movie theatre companies had year-over-year (YOY) losses of more than 75 percent in the second quarter of the year 2020. The letter goes on to say that if the present condition continues, 69 percent of small and medium movie theatres will be forced to file for bankruptcy or to close permanently, and 66 percent of theatre jobs will be lost.

This is not limited to a probable future scenario as various theatre chains were reported to have shortened their operating hours and closed midweek in some venues in their bid to trim costs. This was a direct effect of Hollywood postponing big releases like Wonder Woman 1984 and Black Widow to 2021.

The report has added that the three biggest chains of the US, namely AMC Theatres, Regal Cinemas and Cinemark, have been affected gravely too with a Cinemark spokesman saying that only 75 percent of their theatres are open. Other chains have begun to limit the number of showtimes and close the halls on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

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