UK film industry asks government to provide support for struggling cinemas
A group of high profile names in the film industry have written an open letter calling for government support cinemas that are struggling due to the onslaught of the pandemic.
Members of the UK film industry including filmmakers Steve McQueen, Danny Boyle and Christopher Nolan said 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 “larger cinema operators”, which include Odeon, Cineworld and Showcase, without whom “the future of the entire UK film industry would look extremely precarious”.
The letter adds: “ We urgently need targeted funding support to ensure that future generations can enjoy the magic of cinema.”
The open letter comes as most cinemas across the country are shut down due to the tier 4 restrictions put in place to prevent the mass spread of the new strain of the Covid-19 virus.
This has led to release delays for movies and sharply reduced revenues. Box-office analyst Comscore reported a 76% drop in takings for 2020 due to the pandemic and the lockdown measures.
Phil Clapp, the chief executive of the UK Cinema Association, said: “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.”