Major American filmmakers joined forces with movie theater owners on Wednesday, September 30 in a written appeal for financial help in regards to the falling movie industry. They fear the future of cinema is at stake.
In a letter to Congress, they said the coronavirus pandemic has initiated a devastating blow to movie theaters, and that without funds “theaters may not survive the impact of the pandemic.” They asked U.S. representatives if they could redirect unspent funds from the COVID-19 aid package passed earlier this year, or enact new proposals that would help movie theaters weather the pandemic. The letter also said that 69% of small and mid-sized movie theater companies will be forced to file for bankruptcy or close permanently unless help is forthcoming.
The letter was signed by more than 70 directors and producers, including James Cameron, Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, Patty Jenkins, and Michael Bay, along with the National Association of Theater Owners, the Directors Guild of America and the Motion Picture Association.
“Cinemas are an essential industry that represent the best that American talent and creativity have to offer. But now we fear for their future,” the letter reads.
The pandemic forced movie theaters to close their doors in mid-March. Big chains including AMC Entertainment and Cineworld Plc’s Regal Cinemas have reopened, with reduced capacity, in many U.S. cities, but not in the biggest film markets of Los Angeles and New York City.
Efforts to get Americans going back to the theaters have proved disappointing, and Hollywood studios have delayed the release of multiple blockbuster movies such as Marvel’s “Black Widow” and Paramount’s “Top Gun: Maverick” all the way to 2021.