Struggling movie theaters, entertainment venues to get $15B in federal aid
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 Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (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 Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and John Cornyn (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.