Movie Theaters Launch New Campaign Seeking Help From U.S. Government

Robert Pattinson in a movie theater

We all want movie theaters to open again. And we want them to open safely, where audience members can return to multiplexes to watch the latest releases and not have to worry about getting sick, or passing an illness along to a loved one. But while the nation waits for movie theaters to be able to open again, the National Association of Theatre Owners is asking patrons to lend a hand, in a very specific way.

The new campaign #SaveYourCinema just launched online. It’s a form that asks users to send messages directly to their U.S. Senators and state representatives to support legislation that could provide a financial lifeline for movie theaters and theater chains.

You can very easily send on your own message to your local representatives right here. The body of the message that is included on the Website reads, in part:

As a moviegoer in your community, I am writing to ask you to save our local movie theaters. Without your help, we could lose our beloved cinemas and a cherished American pastime. I urge you to support the RESTART Act (S. 3814/H.R. 7481), and to please press Treasury and the Federal Reserve to implement more relief measures for cinemas of all sizes.Movie theaters had to shut down early on in the pandemic and will be among the last to recover. Over the past few months movie theaters have earned virtually no revenue amidst mounting fixed expenses. Even when theaters can reopen, the road for recovery will be long because of the very nature of movie theaters as public gathering places.I urge you to save theaters by supporting the RESTART Act (S. 3814/H.R. 7481), which will give movie theaters access to partially forgivable seven-year loans covering six months of expenses, a lifeline for theaters that have been left behind by existing loan programs. I also urge you to press Treasury and the Federal Reserve to implement more relief programs under the CARES Act that help businesses of all sizes.

NATO represents more than 35,000 movie screens in all 50 U.S. states. They have been very active during the pandemic in terms of fighting for the survival of independent movie theaters and massive theater chains. They’ve worked closely with studios to ensure that anticipated films such as Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, Niki Caro’s Mulan, and the tentpole blockbusters of Black Widow and Wonder Woman ’84 play in theaters, and avoid a streaming option.

But according to this new Website, financial assistance from the government is needed to keep movie theaters “alive” until they are able to open safely and welcome patrons back into their audiences.

We here at CinemaBlend strongly support the theater-going industry. We long for the day when we can recline our chairs in our favorite local cinemas and triple feature new movies. But until then, the industry needs help. And this site is one way that you can help, right now.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.