Local, independent movie theaters now eligible for federal stimulus funds

Local and independent movie theaters may be getting a boost from the federal government to help survive the pandemic.
Although some movie theaters across the country have reopened with limited capacity, many people are not going out to the theater. “Wonder Woman: 1984” has taken in only $28 million since its Christmas premiere, a fraction of what it might have earned if not for COVID.
But the theaters may be getting a lifeline in the form of federal stimulus. Independent movie theaters can qualify to share in approximately $5 billion in stimulus funds approved last week.
“It will cover at least 45-50% of the losses during the pandemic,” says Bob Piechota Jr., whose family owns Hillsborough and Montgomery Cinemas. “That’s enough to pay rent, mortgages, utilities.”
With anticipated blockbusters like “Dune,” “Matrix 4” and many others delayed, and theaters either closed or with limited capacity, the movie industry had an abysmal 2020, with the lowest box office revenue in 40 years.
Large theater chains and those that are publicly held or foreign-owned are not eligible for federal stimulus.