The Morrison Government is committing $20 million to assist independent cinema operators.
The Supporting Cinemas’ Retention Endurance and Enhancement of Neighbourhoods (SCREEN) Fund, administered by Screen Australia, will assist independent cinema operators who have experienced significant declines in revenue due to the pandemic, with one-off business continuity grants of up to $85,000.
Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cites and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the SCREEN Fund is expected to support up to 390 cinemas across the country manage the significant economic, health and social challenges they are facing as a result of COVID-19.
“The pandemic has had a devastating impact on cinemas, who have struggled to recover due to circumstances that were out of their control, such as capacity restrictions and a reduced flow of new release films by major distributors,” Minister Fletcher said.
“Independent cinemas represent around 30 per cent of the cinema exhibition sector in Australia, and play a key role by providing 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.
“We’re introducing this funding to help support the viability of independent cinemas during this period when their business circumstances are still returning to normality, as the vaccine rollout progresses and Australia moves towards higher audience capacities.”
The SCREEN Fund builds on the Government’s investment of over $800 million in additional arts and entertainment funding announced in 2020, on top of its annual investment of around $750 million in regular funding.