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Martin Scorsese and Clint Eastwood call for bailout of COVID-19 hit cinemas

Oscar-winning filmmakers Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, and James Cameron have signed a letter calling for U.S. politicians to bail out cinemas hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

The letter was signed by more than 70 directors and producers along with bosses at the National Association of Theater Owners, the Directors Guild of America, and the Motion Picture Association.

It reads: “The moviegoing experience is central to American life. 268 million people in North America went to the movies last year to laugh, cry, dream, and be moved together.

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“Theaters are great unifiers where our nation’s most talented storytellers showcase their cinematic accomplishments. Every aspiring filmmaker, actor, and producer dreams of bringing their art to the silver screen, an irreplaceable experience that represents the pinnacle of filmmaking achievement.”

Others who put their name to the plea to Republican and Democrat leaders in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives included Christopher Nolan, James Cameron, Judd Apatow, Jon Chu, Sofia Coppola, Alfonso Cuaron, Patty Jenkins, and Michael Bay.

The pandemic forced cinemas to close in mid-March (2020), with major chains reopening with reduced capacity – but movie theatres remain closed in the major markets of Los Angeles and New York City.

Their missive, reproduced on Deadline.com, claims that 69 percent of small and mid-sized cinema firms will be forced to file for bankruptcy or close permanently without government help. It asks Congress to redirect unspent funds from a coronavirus aid bill passed earlier this year or to vote for a new package that would direct new funds to help cinemas survive the pandemic.

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