Herald by the likes of Robert De Niro, Viola Davis, Darren Aronofsky, Kevin Bacon, Al Pacino, Jennifer Lawrence, and more, American Senator Chuck Schumer has been praised for his championing of the ‘Save Our Stages Act’.
Due to the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic on cultural arts in New York, Schumer has been a vocal supporter of the bipartisan ‘Save Our Stages’ act, which hopes to provide $15 billion in grants for arts and entertainment venues, which he recently extended to encompass independent movie theatres.
In a letter last week, the Hollywood names penned, “We write to thank you for championing movie theatres and including them as eligible grant recipients in the Save Our stages Act along with live music venues and live theatre.”
Like all entertainment, cinemas have been devastated by the pandemic and without federal relief, the National Association of Theatre Owners estimated that 70% of cinemas will close permanently or be forced into bankruptcy before the spring of 2021. Hundreds of thousands of workers across the country have been stood down or let go. Even as cinema operators try to remain nimble and scale back their costs, they are barely scraping by with almost no revenue. According to NATO, 96% of independently owned and mid-sized theatres have lost 70% of income this year.
“We urge you to press for Save Our Stages passage as part of a COVID relief bill before the end of the year”, the letter says.
The letter also stressed that movie theatres are one of the most essential influences on New York’s economy. Theatres provide more than 8,000 jobs to New Yorkers, and millions more work on film production and distribution, as well as other cinema-related businesses.
“With you as a champion, there is a solution that could help theatres bridge the pandemic until new content is available theatrically and crowds are ready to come back,” the letter says ‘The Save Our Stages Act, as amended thanks to your efforts, is a lifeline that theatres need to see them through this crisis.”
The full list of names includes:
Robert De Niro
Neil Patrick Harris