WALLPAPERS: Liberal candidate for Paterson Brooke Vitnell with Scott Seddon in front of Scotty’s Cinemas Raymond Terrace. Image: Supplied

The Morrison government has heeded calls for support from Independent Cinemas Australia and announced a second round of funding in its Cinema Support Fund.

Before December 24, the day the $ 20 million SCREEN fund with half the money to spend was closed, the industry body launched a campaign calling on the government not to “give up the most popular places of entertainment. of Australia ”.

A day before the deadline, Paul Fletcher, Federal Minister of Communications and the Arts, announced that $ 9 million was available as part of the second round of the SCREEN Fund for Independent and Regional Cinemas which had seen its box office revenues. -office drop by 30%. .

Scott Seddon, owner of Scotty’s Raymond Terrace, Heddon Greta Drive-in and President of the CIA, said the support was needed more than ever.

“Revenues are still 55% lower than businesses facing increased costs to operate COVID-safe premises, no cash reserves and no obligations for huge debt repayments including bank loans and nearly two years of debt. ‘rent arrears,’ he said.

“These losses cannot be recovered overnight.”

The funding announcement was welcomed by Paterson’s Liberal candidate Brooke Vitnell.

“The past two years have been a difficult time for many companies, but regional cinemas have been particularly affected,” she said.

“This additional funding will allow theaters like Scotty’s to recover faster and continue to provide entertainment and delicious popcorn to families in our area.”

As part of the first round of funding, $ 10 million was allocated to 198 theaters across the country.

The second round of funding grants will be available to theaters that can demonstrate that their box office revenues between July 1 and September 30 were more than 30% lower than their box office revenues for the corresponding period in 2019. .

Applications close on April 30.

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