Share article:
Share article:

Lack of support could see almost 100 Belgian cinemas close

Credits: Belga

Following a difficult year for the industry, and with no relief in sight, the Federation of Cinemas of Belgium (FCB) has urged the government to increase financial support, warning this crisis is a threat to 1,250 jobs.

In an open letter signed by 113 leaders in the sector, the FCB alerted ministers that the corona crisis has had “catastrophic consequences” for Belgian cinemas, as it had forced them to close their doors to the public for a total of 6,5 months so far.

The loss to the cinema industry so far in 2020 has been estimated at around €210 million, with an additional €25 million being added per closing month.

“The economic consequences are dramatic: many jobs, both direct and indirect, are threatened, and the sector was already in a vulnerable position,” said Thierry Laermans, the secretary-general of the FCB.

Related News


Our Belgian culture is ‘in danger’

In total, the industry received €3 million in support from the government. In comparison, French and German cinemas received €125.8 million and €90 million respectively, whilst the Dutch government made €55 million available to the sector, according to Laermans.

The letter highlighted that, without governmental support, 98 affiliated cinemas are in danger of bankruptcy.

Players from across the sector, from cinema directors to actors from the Belgian big screen, came together to convey this message to Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, the Minister-Presidents of the different country Regions, several ministers in charge of the Economy, Francophone Culture Minister Bénédicte Linard, as well as Federal Ministers for Health, Frank Vandenbroucke, and the Interior, Annelies Verlinden.

“Our entire sector now has its back to the wall,” Laermans emphasised. “But it’s not only our sector but also all affiliated activities that depend on the cinemas: cafes, restaurants, shops, nightclubs,… are affected by this closure. During this period of crisis, cultural and social activities are more than essential.”

He concluded: “It is a part of Belgian culture that is in danger.”

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Over 1,000 Covid-19 hospitalisations for first time since early June
The number of patients hospitalised in Belgium as a result of the coronavirus has again exceeded 1,000, climbing to 1,032, according to figures ...
Experts call for more widespread use of masks as figures rise
As coronavirus figures continue to rise, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has suggested that people return to wearing masks when indoors with ...
Belgium wants to recover €420 million in wrongfully paid out coronavirus aid
The Belgian State intends to recover €420 million of unduly paid Covid-19 aid, La Libre Belgique reported on Thursday. The electronic Council of ...
Why the fight for transgender rights is polarising Europe 
Year after year, Samuel De Schepper would ask Santa Claus to bring him a penis for Christmas. Born female and attending an all girl’s Catholic ...
New offshore wind farm officially opened
Despite being operational since the end of 2020, the SeaMade offshore wind farm was officially inaugurated on Wednesday by Prime Minister Alexander ...
Contact tracers have no time for calls, only texts, amid rising cases
Contract tracers will no longer make phone calls to the high-risk contacts of people who test positive for the coronavirus beginning from Wednesday, ...
Belgium holds on to top spot in FIFA rankings despite recent losses
Once again, Belgium's Red Devils have held onto their position at the top of the world football rankings, according to an update released by the ...
Proximus pushes for high-speed internet in Brussels and Wallonia
Fifteen municipalities in Wallonia should soon have access to high-speed internet through the rollout of fibre optics in the region, telecoms giant ...
Why Belgium is regulating sex work
After decades of confusing rules and hypocritical policy, Belgium is finally regulating sex work by removing prostitution from the criminal law. ...
World’s largest chocolate warehouse opens in Flanders
On Thursday, Barry Callebaut – the largest global chocolate processor and manufacturer – opened the world's largest chocolate warehouse in Lokeren, ...
Belgium in Brief: Equal Opportunity To Dance
There's a phrase where I'm from, more often said in jest nowadays, but it came to my mind this morning: "Ye dancin'?" (Are you dancing?), one ...
Farmer discovers cocaine in banana boxes bought in Brussels
A Flemish farmer who purchased boxes of bananas at the market in Brussels on Tuesday came home to discover large amounts of cocaine packed among the ...