Chloe Shakesby

"Book your seats": £650k allocated to independent cinemas as government urges public to visit

The government has today announced that it has allocated the first lot of funding to support independent cinemas across the country.

The Culture Recovery Fund has made its first lot of investments, with £650k to be split between 42 independent cinemas.

Overall, there will be £30m contributed to indie cinemas, with the funding being allocated by the British Film Institute (BFI).

This comes as movie theatres across the UK experience a dramatic fall in sales and revenue as a result of coronavirus.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden commented: “We all enjoyed the escapism of a good film during lockdown, but nothing beats the experience of the big screen.

“This first wave of emergency funding will help dozens of independent cinemas around the country, preserving their unique character and history for future generations.

“Our Film and TV Restart Scheme will keep cameras rolling on British-made film and TV - protecting jobs, boosting this hugely important industry and giving us more great content to enjoy.

“But now we need the public to play their part too. So I urge everyone to get booking your seats and support your local cinema.”

Idris Elba OBE, BFI governor, said: “In a time with so much change and uncertainty around us, there is comfort in the familiarity of a comfy pair of seats and some popcorn at your local cinema.

“It’s a simple and effective way of bonding with our cities and culture. We depend on the independent cinema and they depend on us to support them, now more than ever.”

Ruth Wilson, actor and producer, added: “What lockdown has made very clear is how vital local communities are.

“I am thrilled independent cinemas will be able to access the Culture Recovery Fund.

“They, alongside all local arts organisations are lifelines for their communities and for the people that work in them.

“It was in my local cinema in Walton-on-Thames where I saw films for the first time that moved me, that made me understand the power of storytelling, the power of communal watching and made me want to be part of that world.”

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