Film makers call on Government to help lockdown cinemas (as Hollywood delays blockbuster releases)

Signed the letter: Amma Asante MBE is a British filmmaker, screenwriter, former actress

Film makers call on Government to help lockdown cinemas (as Hollywood delays blockbuster releases)

Nobody is queuing up to buy popcorn and  ticket to see the latest Bond movie because they’re closed.

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said: “It’s a devastating blow because cinemas help to drive so many other businesses. Restaurants, taxis, buses, trains, tubes, cafes – they all rely on the night time economy to boost sales and without financial help cinemas will be a thing of the past as businesses go bust.”

He said without Hollywood releasing some the blockbusters like the latest Bond film that would normally 'put bums on seats' the cinemas were in trouble along with the related businesses.

The latest Bond movie has been held back

Fixed costs

Phil Clapp, the chief executive of the UK Cinema Association, says: “While all cinemas have been able to benefit from general business support during this time, including the furlough scheme and a business rates holiday, many of the larger operators in particular have been required to continue to pay rental on their commercial tenancies as well as the other costs that come with running physical buildings.”

The Guardian’s Andrew Pulver has highlighted an appeal by movie makers to the Government before too much damage is done. He wrote: “A group of the film industry’s most high-profile and influential names – including Steve McQueen, Bond producer Barbara Broccoli and Danny Boyle – have published an open letter calling for more government support for the large cinema chains whose businesses have been threatened during the pandemic.

“The letter says that ‘cinema-going offers proven benefits when it comes to jobs, high-street footfall and community cohesion’ but that ‘the need for direct financial support is pressing’. The letter is designed to support what it describes as the ‘larger cinema operators’, which include Odeon, Cineworld and Showcase, without whom ‘the future of the entire UK film industry would look extremely precarious.”

Danny Boyle

Film directors

The letter was signed by movie directors McQueen, Broccoli and Boyle, as well as Amma Asante, Gurinder Chadha, Paul Greengrass and Christopher Nolan, plus producers David Heyman and Elizabeth Karlsen, and actors Jude Law and Stephen Fry.

The letter says: “We very much hope that government will respond to this call. UK cinema stands on the edge of an abyss. We urgently need targeted funding support to ensure that future generations can enjoy the magic of cinema.”

Ian Carrotte said this is a crisis that is destroying perfectly good businesses and the only exit strategy is to roll out a vaccine which may or not end the spread of the virus. There is no reason why most of the night time economy cannot reopen with precautions – the one size fits all has not worked. It’s only result is to close firms and livelihoods.”

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