Movie Theaters Seek Federal Bailout From Congress After Coronavirus Shutdown

NATO requests loan guarantees, tax benefits and other measures to recoup losses from the crisis

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The movie theater industry is asking Congress and the Administration for immediate relief measures, including loan guarantees and tax measures to recoup losses incurred from the coronavirus.

In a statement from National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), they are asking for:

· 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.

These measures are to help the industry and its 150,000 employees during the time of the pandemic.

“The business model of the movie theater industry is uniquely vulnerable in the present crisis,” the statement read. “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 NATO on Wednesday authorized $1 million drawn from the Associations reserve to aid theater employees who have been forced out of work due to the spread of the virus. More details of the fund will be released soon.

All theater chains have closed in hopes of stopping the spread of the virus.

The pandemic is likely to sink domestic grosses for 2020 below $8 billion for the first time since 2000, analysts have said, and perhaps more troubling is that admissions could fall below 1 billion tickets sold for the first time since 1976.