The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), which represents 35,000 movie screens in all 50 states, wants to ensure the future of local cinemas in the midst of the coronavirus. That’s why they launched #SaveYourCinema, an initiative that urges American citizens to ask Congress for financial assistance for movie theaters during the pandemic. The aid would come as a part of the RESTART Act, which if passed, would “give movie theaters access to partially forgivable seven-year loans covering six months of expenses, a lifeline for theaters that have been left behind by existing loan programs.”

Over the past few months, a majority of the entertainment business has taken a massive hit due to Covid-19. As the pandemic has unfolded, previous hopes for movie theaters to be open by summer have not been fulfilled. While quite a few restaurants are able to offer takeout or outdoor seating, movie theaters rely on the in-person experience. Outdoor drive-in cinemas have seen a spike in attendance, but many indoor theaters remain dormant. Most likely, movie theaters will be one of the last types of businesses to be granted permission to fully reopen.

The #SaveYourCinema website includes a pre-filled form that allows you to reach out to US Senators and Representatives with just a few clicks. Of course, you can also edit the message to express anything else you’d like to add. Says NATO in their form: “Movie theaters are integral to the social, cultural, and economic life of our communities. In addition to being community gathering places, theaters employ so many vulnerable individuals underrepresented in the workforce, including young people and people with disabilities. We cannot afford to lose our precious cinemas.”

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Gallery — What We Miss Most About Going to the Movies: