Tue. Mar 31st, 2020

Theater Owners Ask Congress for Emergency Bailout Amid Unprecedented Closures

The U.S. movie industry and its 150,000 employees are asking Congress for an emergency bailout as virtually all cinemas across the U.S. go dark due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The measures include loan guarantees that ease a liquidity squeeze imposed by fixed costs in the face of non-existent revenues; tax benefits to assist employers with providing support to employees; relieving the burden of costs that are ongoing despite closures; and tax measures that will allow theaters recoup losses when the industry is back up and running.

The business model of the movie theater industry is uniquely vulnerable in the present crisis, the National Association of Theatre Owners said Wednesday in announcing the request.

“As we confront this evolving and unprecedented period, we call on Congress and the Administration to ensure that America’s movie theater industry and its tens of thousands of employees across the country can remain resilient,” read the NATO statement.

Additionally, the Executive Board of NATO on Wednesday authorized $1 million drawn from the association’s reserve to aid movie theater employees who are out of work due to movie theater closures stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The money will be used as seed funds in an effort to help tide workers over during the crisis. Details of the fund will be released shortly.

The 2020 domestic box office is looking at billions in lost revenue.

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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett

Photographs are Courtesy:  AP

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