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Movie industry leaders demand Congress to fund theater bailouts

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Signatures include Wes Anderson, Judd Apatow, James Cameron, Alfonso Cuarón, Clint Eastwood, Paul Feig, Greta Gerwig, Barry Jenkins, Patty Jenkins, Ang Lee, Steven Soderbergh, Taika Waititi, James Wan & Lulu Wang

The leaders of the u.s. movie theater industry, which has been blasted by the COVID-19 Pandemic, are urging Congress to provide bailout funding to ensure that the industry can survive.

The letter urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy to redirect unallocated funds from the CARES Act to proposals that help companies that have suffered the biggest declines in revenues due to the pandemic. The National Association of Theatre Owners, the Directors Guild of America, the Motion Picture Association and more than 70 directors, producers, and writers signed the letter.

Signatures include Wes Anderson, Judd Apatow, James Cameron, Alfonso Cuarón, Clint Eastwood, Paul Feig, Greta Gerwig, Edgar Goldberg, Barry Jenkins, Patty Jenkins, Ang Lee, Steve McQueen, Christopher Nolan, David O. Russell, Martin Scorsese, Zack Snyder, Steven Soderbergh, Taika Waititi, James Wan & Lulu Wang

The letter begins : “Thank you for your leadership in this challenging time for our country When you consider the coming relief legislation COVID-19, we call on you to prioritize aid for the hardest-hit industries, like the beloved movie theaters of our country.

“No doubt you hear from many businesses that need assistance. Cinemas are in dire straits and we urge you to redirect unallocated funds from the CARES Act to proposals that help businesses that suffered the steepest revenue losses due to the pandemic or enact new proposals such as the RESTART Act (S. 3814/H.R. (7481) Theatres may not survive the impact of the pandemic in lieu of a solution adapted for their circumstances.

“The pandemic has been a devastating financial hit for cinemas. In the second quarter of 2020, 93% of movie theaters were underperforming and lost over 75%. If the status quo continues, 69% of small and medium-sized movie theaters will be forced to file for bankruptcy or closed permanently and 66% of theater jobs will be lost. Our country cannot afford to lose the social, economic and cultural value theatre provides.”

The film experience is fundamental to American life. 268 million people in North America went to the movies last year to laugh, cry, dream and be movable together. Theaters are great unifying places where the most talented storytellers of our country showcase their cinematic achievements. Everyaspiring filmmaker, actor, and producer dreams of taking their art to the silver screen – an irreplaceable experience that represents the pinnacle of filmmaking – Achievement.

Currently, about 75% of the theater markets in the United States are open, but the key Los Angeles and New York markets remain closed along with most of California, North Carolina, Michigan, New Mexico, Seattle – Tacoma and Portland, with outperformed drive-ins. Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst at Comscore, estimated that only 58% of theatres in North America are currently closed.

Hollywood studios have subsequently delayed release of high-profile titles to avoid the feeling that many moviegoers remain uncomfortable with returning to multiplexes — even with social detaching restrictions. Warner Bros. gambled with its Christopher Nolan thriller, “Tenet,” and saw a disappointing result with $41 million in four weeks domestically and only $3.4 million in the current week.

Read the entire letter here.

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