The British government has authorized "lifeline funding" for independent cinema of $1.9b. "This is the first wave of emergency funding to help dozens of independent cinemas across the country, preserving their unique character and history for future generations," stated Oliver Dowden, U.K. Culture Secretary.
|Independents Across England to Receive Emergency Funding|
The same assistance is occurring throughout Europe, via the European Union's Culture Recovery Fund. The same should be happening in the U.S. and it's NOT! Funding for independent cinemas should be specific as these represent lifelines not only for the cinemas but for the hundreds of small communities across the country.
The National Assoc. of Theater Owners (NATO), the Directors Guild of America, the Motion Picture Assoc. of America, and over 70 film directors and producers signed a letter that was sent to Congressional leaders in the House and Senate to redirect unallocated funds from the CARES Act to assist independent movie exhibitors.
The virus visited a devastating blow to cinemas. 93% of U.S. movie theaters reported operating losses in the first half of 2020. It is estimated that if the status quo continues 70% of small and mid-sized movie theaters will go bankrupt or close permanently. This represents thousands of lost jobs for primarily young workers.
|Many cinemas are still 'dark' because of the virus|
We need to take a page out of the British cultural playbook. "The U.K.'s cinemas are a key part of our culture - they provide many jobs and entertain the nation", says British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak.
The movie industry is a child of America and we must preserve this art form at all costs. It is a huge part of our culture and it must remain so. We all need to step-up and support the independent cinema.