Filmmakers appeal to Congress to save movie theaters

Cinemas employ 150,000 people across the country

Industry groups in Hollywood appealed to Congress on Wednesday in hopes to help save movie theaters in the U.S. that have been crushed financially during the months-long coronavirus pandemic.

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There are few industries that have suffered as much as movie theaters and groups representing movie studios wrote in a letter to lawmakers that these cinemas “may not survive the impact of the pandemic.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that cinemas in major markets are still closed due to local restrictions.

Analysts estimate that 93% of theaters saw a 75% drop in revenue. These cinemas employ 150,000 people across the country, the report said.

Entertainment Weekly reported that some of the most influential players in the movie industry signed the letter appealing for financial assistance to movie theaters.

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As you consider forthcoming COVID-19 relief legislation, we ask you to prioritize assistance for the hardest-hit industries, like our country’s beloved movie theaters....Absent a solution designed for their circumstances, theaters may not survive the impact of the pandemic," the letter said, according to the report.

It has been widely reported that movie theaters have been facing new challenges even before the coronavirus outbreak.

There are seems to be a new streaming service every month and some theaters have been adapting by serving high-end clientele to make the movie-going experience special.

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But the industry faces strong headwinds. Megan McArdle, a columnist at the Washington Post, wrote an article on Monday, titled,  “Be Prepared to Say  Goodbye to Movie Theaters.”“The modern movie business has been tuned to operate at vast scale, opening mega-budget blockbusters on thousands of screens at once. It’s unclear what happens if a significant portion of that capacity simply vanishes in the course of a year or two,” she wrote.