New York Senator Chuck Schumer has long been a supporter of the bipartisan Save Our Stages act, which aims to provide more than $10 billion in grants for arts and entertainment venues. Since being introduced to Congress by Democrat Amy Klobuchar and Republican John Cornyn, the bill has garnered broad support from lawmakers and widespread appeal from the creative community.
“It’s a small but important part of [a relief package], to help save some of the music and other entertainment venues … ranging from Broadway shows to symphony orchestras to live music in Austin, Texas,” said Cornyn of the pending legislation.
Now, Schumer has sweetened the pot for the film industry, adding movie theaters to the list of venues eligible for funding.
In turn, some of Hollywood’s most recognizable names have written to lend their support to both the Senator and the bill. In a letter Monday to Schumer, actors and directors including Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Jennifer Lawrence, and Darren Aronofsky, among others, penned, “We write to thank you for championing movie theaters and including them as eligible grant recipients in the Save Our Stages Act along with live music venues and live theater.”
Similar to bars and restaurants, live entertainment venues from concert halls to playhouses to movie theaters have all been financially devastated by the ongoing pandemic. According to the National Association of Theater Owners, some 70% of cinemas may declare bankruptcy or close permanently if relief funding isn’t made available to them in the coming months. As a result, the hundreds of thousand of job losses suffered throughout the movie exhibition industry will become permanent.
“With you as a champion, there is a solution that could help theaters bridge the pandemic until new content is available theatrically and crowds are ready to come back,” the letter says to Senator Schumer. “The Save Our Stages Act, as amended thanks to your efforts, is a lifeline that theaters need to see them through this crisis.”
The full letter can be read in the embedded tweet via the National Association of Theater Owners below.