Oscar-winning directors James Cameron, Clint Eastwood and Martin Scorsese teamed up with movie theater owners on Wednesday to make a call for financial help, saying they feared for the future of their industry.
In a letter to the leaders of the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, they said the coronavirus pandemic had dealt a devastating blow to movie theaters and this without funds ” [cinemas] may not survive the impact of the pandemic ”.
The letter was signed by more than 70 directors and producers, as well as the National Association of Theater Owners, the Directors Guild of America, and the Motion Picture Association.
The pandemic forced US cinemas to close in mid-March. Large chains such as AMC Entertainment and Cineworld’s Regal Cinemas have reopened with reduced capacity in many US cities, but not in the larger markets of Los Angeles and New York.
Efforts to bring Americans back to theaters have proven disappointing, and Hollywood studios have delayed the release of big movies such as Black Widow and Top Gun: Maverick until 2021.
The letter says 69% of small and medium-sized film companies will be forced to file for bankruptcy or close permanently without assistance.
“Movie theaters are a vital industry that represents the best that American talent and creativity have to offer. But now we fear for their future, ”the letter said.
Other signatories included James Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins; and action film director-producer Michael Bay.
They have called on Congress to redirect unspent funds from the coronavirus aid package passed earlier this year, or enact new proposals that would help cinemas weather the pandemic.