#SaveYourCinema Generates More Than 200,000 Letters of Support to Congress

AMC -Theater Closed signs are posted in front - March 17, 2020- Getty-H 2020
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

The initiative was launched in mid-July.

The National Association of Theatre Owners’ #SaveYourCinema campaign has resulted in moviegoers sending more than 200,000 letters to Congress supporting legislation that would provide movie theaters financial relief during the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.

The vast majority of the country's 5,400-plus indoor cinemas have been closed since late March due to COVID-19. Collectively, they employ over 150,000 people. Theaters had hoped to be back online by mid-July but have kept pushing back their reopening dates.

NATO's campaign, launched in mid-July, urges lawmakers to enact the RESTART Act, which would provide cinemas access to partially forgivable seven-year loans covering six months of expenses.

The legislation would also press the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve to implement more relief programs under the existing CARES Act that would help cinemas of all sizes amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. NATO says that theaters have been left out of current loan programs.

“The passionate response to this campaign has exceeded our expectations, and this week is especially crucial for moviegoers across the country to show support,” NATO director of government relations Esther Baruh said in a statement.

"Theaters are the beating hearts of the communities they serve. They drive local economies and boost neighborhood businesses," she continued. "But without more help from Congress, we fear for the future of the industry.”

The campaign website is www.saveyourcinema.com.