Movie theaters and live entertainment venues, which have been devastated by closures for most of the year, will receive $15 billion in the coronavirus aid deal Congress reached this weekend.
As part of its small business relief provisions, the final package “includes $15 billion in dedicated funding for live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions,” Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBuild Back Better Is bad for the states Dole to lie in state in Capitol Rotunda Biden points to drug prices in call for Senate social spending vote MORE (D-N.Y.) and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDole in final column: 'Too many of us have sacrificed too much' Dole to lie in state in Capitol Rotunda House to vote on Uyghur bill amid diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics MORE (D-Calif.) said in a joint statement.
“[T]his bill will provide money for bars and restaurants, and $15 billion in ... grants for theatre operators and small venue owners through the Save Our Stages Act,” Schumer said in a separate statement. “These venues are so important to my state and many states across the country —they are the lifeblood of our communities. They were first to close, and will be the last to open. The bill gives them a fighting chance.”
Last Tuesday, concert industry representatives appeared before Congress in support of the Save Our Stages Act, cosponsored by Schumer and Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharGOP Sen. Braun says abortion laws should be left up to states Klobuchar says 'best way' to protect abortion rights is to codify Roe v. Wade into law Sunday shows preview: Multiple states detect cases of the omicron variant MORE (D-Minn.) and John CornynJohn CornynSenate leaders face pushback on tying debt fight to defense bill House passes bill to expedite financial disclosures from judges McConnell leaves GOP in dark on debt ceiling MORE (R-Texas), Variety noted. Witnesses testified that 9 in 10 independent venues nationwide would be forced to close in the weeks ahead without federal aid, and that such venues are estimated to generate $12 in revenue for every dollar spent there.
“We’re thrilled that Congress has heard the call of shuttered independent venues across the country and provided us a crucial lifeline by including the Save Our Stages Act in the COVID-19 Relief Bill,” Dayna Frank, board president of the National Independent Venue Association, said in a statement, according to Variety.
“We urge swift passage of this legislation, which will assist those in the greatest need and ensure the music lives on for generations to come,” Frank added.