The Federation of Cinemas of Spain (FECE) has sent an open letter to the Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, in which it asks “take the necessary steps to save cinemas and guarantee their survival “as well as avoid” the bankruptcy and closure “of more rooms.
The letter promoted by FECE has the signature of the main Spanish filmmakers such as Pedro Almodóvar, Juan Antonio Bayona, Isabel Coixet, Borja Cobeaga, Leticia Dolera, Emilio Martínez Lázaro, Fernando Trueba, Rodrigo Sorogoyen, Oliver Laxe and Jaume Balagueró, among others.
It is also signed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Academia del Who Catalan, Festivals Cinema such as San Sebastián, Málaga or Sitges, the main associations of production companies AEC, PIAF, PAC, PROA and other associations such as that of women filmmakers, CIMA.
The signatories claim “the social, economic and cultural value that cinemas provide” and they underline the “critical situation” they are going through, with a 70% loss of attendance compared to last year and the delay of almost all the major premieres by distributors, which represents “a real threat to the survival of cinemas “.
In the letter they recall that after the first hundred days closed as a result of the declaration of the state of alarm last March, more than 90% of theaters reopened their doors with restrictions on sessions and capacity and other measures to guarantee the security that they have allowed that no coronavirus outbreak has been recorded in movie theaters to date.
As of today, with the new state of alarm, 45% of Spanish cinemas remain open, according to FECE data.
The signatories declare “aware of the situation in the country, of the serious health and economic crisis” and of “the numerous sectors and companies” that request aid to the Government.
“We also know of the support measures adopted by your Government during these months that have allowed some relief to the sector,” they specify in reference to the 10 million euros granted at the beginning of November to cover the expenses derived from the adaptation to the new measures security in the rooms.
However, they add, “the critical situation that the rooms are going through forces a specific plan to allow their survival.”
“In this letter we do not claim any privilege, but to preserve the historical role that cinemas have in our culture and society; to allow the survival of an essential industry which represents the best that Spanish talent and creativity has to offer and which is now in real danger, “they warn.
Last year 105 million cinema tickets were sold in Spain, 8% more than the previous year, which represented a collection of 624.1 million euros, according to data from the ICAA (Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts).
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