Federal Government announces $8.7m for independent cinemas

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher has announced $8.7 million funds for 158 independent cinemas.

The announcement:

158 independent cinemas across Australia will share in more than $8.7 million to keep their doors open, under the first batch of the Morrison Government’s $20 million Supporting Cinemas’ Retention Endurance and Enhancement of Neighbourhoods (SCREEN) Fund.

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the fund supports the viability and recovery of independent cinema businesses as the vaccine rollout progresses and Australia moves towards higher audience capacities.

“Independent cinemas are so important to the social and cultural health of our communities in Australia, which is why we acted quickly to introduce our $20 million SCREEN Fund,” Minister Fletcher said.

“Through this fund we are already enabling 158 cinemas to keep operating and to provide a popular, low-cost and COVID-safe way for people to go out and enjoy a movie as part of a community – particularly in regional areas.”

Administered by Screen Australia, the fund helps independent cinema operators with one-off business continuity grants of up to $85,000 if they have experienced significant declines in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said he looks forward to continuing to support the recovery of independent cinema businesses during what remains an incredibly challenging time for many.

“Following the announcement of the $20 million SCREEN Fund by the Morrison Government in March, Screen Australia quickly prioritised administering these much-needed funds directly to independent cinemas around the country,” Mr Mason said.

“We are pleased that in the three months since we opened applications in April, more than $8.7 million has already been allocated and distributed to cinemas, assisting partners in the sector who were incredibly hard hit by the pandemic.”

In recognition of the economic, social and national importance of the cultural and creative sector, the Morrison Government is investing over $1 billion into the arts and creative sector in 2021-22.

SCREEN Fund applications are open until 24 December 2021 or until total funds are committed. Further batches of grants will be announced in the coming weeks.

Source: Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts media release


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