Belgium’s Federation of Cinemas is disappointed that movie theatres must remain closed through December and possibly until the end of January.
“Specific and substantial support is now needed for the survival of the film sector,” said the Federation’s Secretary General Thierry Laermans. “Otherwise we risk major disasters.”
The winter period is normally the busiest of the year for the cinema, Laermans said. “The fact that we have to stay closed then is an incredible economic blow.”
The Federation of Cinemas’ reaction is one of many to the adaptations announced by Belgium’s Consultative Committee on Friday. Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said that non-essential shops could reopen from Tuesday 1 December, albeit under strict conditions.
Museums and swimming pools can also reopen, but further relaxations (including for the cinema sector) will have to wait until mid-January.
“We had asked to be allowed to reopen in mid-December,” he said. “We understand that the health crisis is not over yet, but we have proved that a cinema visit is perfectly safe. We are very disappointed that the public is not allowed even a little relaxation”.
While there are general support measures that cinemas can also use, they merely reduce costs and are disproportionate to the revenue shortfalls of the coming months, Laermans continued.
“Real help is urgently needed,” he reiterated.
The Brussels Times