Theater Owners Urge Congress to Move Quickly on Aid; Pledge $1 Million to Movie Theater Employees

(March 18, 2020) – The movie theater industry and its employees ask for Congress and the Administration to urgently consider the following immediate relief measures, which we hope will allow the industry and its 150,000 employees, who live and work in practically every Congressional District, to weather the present COVID-19 pandemic crisis, including:

  • Loan guarantees that ease a liquidity squeeze imposed by fixed costs in the face of non-existent revenues.
  • Tax benefits to assist employers with providing support to employees;
  • Relieving the burden of costs that are ongoing despite closures; and
  • Tax measures that will allow theaters recoup losses when the industry is back up and running.

The business model of the movie theater industry is uniquely vulnerable in the present crisis.

As we confront this evolving and unprecedented period, we call on Congress and the Administration to ensure that America’s movie theater industry and its tens of thousands of employees across the country can remain resilient.

Additionally, the Executive Board of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) today authorized $1 million dollars drawn from the Association’s reserve to aid movie theater employees who are out of work due to movie theater closures stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. The money will be used as seed funds for an effort to help tide workers over in this crisis in cooperation with our industry partners. Details of the fund will be released shortly.

About NATO
The National Association of Theatre Owners is the largest exhibition trade organization in the world, representing more than 33,000 movie screens in all 50 states, and more than 32,000 additional screens in 98 countries worldwide.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., with a second office in North Hollywood, California, NATO represents its members in the heart of the nation’s capital as well as the center of the entertainment industry. From these vantage points, NATO helps exhibition influence federal policy-making and work with movie distributors on all areas of mutual concern, from new technologies to legislation, marketing, and First Amendment issues. www.natoonline.org

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