A recently reopened movie theatre.

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Movie theaters are dark, Broadway is quiet, and many performers without work are among the 5.5 million Americans on unemployment.

In September, one owner of a small New York City jazz club told the New York Times there was a 50% chance his business wouldn’t reopen. “Small clubs like us are not going to exist anymore,” Ken Sturm said.

Meanwhile, in March, the Alamo Drafthouse announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company, which operates about 40 dine-in movie theaters across the country, will sell its assets as a way to raise financing to endure the pandemic.

It’s been a bleak year for much of the entertainment industry, devastated by shutdowns and cancellations because of the pandemic. Between 2018 and 2019, Broadway musicals generated over $1.43 billion in gross revenue, according to a report by the Broadway League. Theaters and performance centers, once the lively cultural centerpieces of American cities, are now strapped for cash. 

The new stimulus package, which was passed in December, includes critical aid for performance venues, theaters, talent managers, and museums. The $15 billion in Grants for Shuttered Venue Operators was spearheaded by a group of independent promoters who lobbied Congress. Unlike the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, these funds are grants that do not require repayment or forgiveness, and they are entirely new from the CARES Act of the spring.

Eligible businesses may receive up to 45% of their 2019 revenue, capped at $10 million. In the spring, businesses may receive a second payment at up to 50% of the first grant, as long as their 2021 first quarter revenues are not more than 30% of their 2019 revenue during the same quarter. The bill states that any funds a business received through the CARES Act, such as a …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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