Let me establish that I'm a massive movie buff. One that immensely enjoys seeing them in theaters. Other than an actual church, a movie theater is probably my spiritual home. The devastating impact on the industry this year had been about as equally devastating to watch.

It's very understandable, perhaps even commendable, that people have been staying away from them. I myself have gone since the COVID-19 outbreak, but not often. I pay very close attention to theater safety guidelines and even take some extra precautions of my own. I know I'm not alone in my continued love of going to the Movies.

But business is still very, very rough for them right now.

The federal government should attempt to step in

It's not currently clear when the government might approve another COVID-19 stimulus package. Some industries have been specifically named as possibilities for receiving more assistance. Travel, for one.

The prospect of the government giving aid to the entertainment industry has recently been raised. Some might scoff at the notion, but they really shouldn't. Yes, there is the emotional aspect of it for many, including me. And that shouldn't be discounted. But even if you're not a big movie-goer, there are cold hard facts to consider.

Regal Cinemas, one of the biggest movie theater chains around, announced it's closing locations on a temporary but indefinite basis.

According to Business Insider, that move directly impacts about 40,000 Regal workers. That's 40,000 people losing paychecks from just one chain alone. Some might try to minimize this. Sure, many of the jobs are probably part-time and don't make a lot of money. But many are not. And even the ones that still represent a blow to the economy.

The news about Regal Cinemas may have actually helped AMC Theatres, though. Recent reports indicated that AMC had about six months of liquidity left. But Variety reports that AMC's stock shares jumped up after the news about Regal. Even with that, though, the company probably still needs help. They are especially considering there aren't many blockbusters coming on the horizon anytime soon.

As it is now, "Wonder Woman: 1984" could be the only one coming shortly. If its release doesn't get delayed again. For what would be a fourth time. Most other so-called 'tent-pole' movies mean for 2020 have been pushed to 2021. And some planned 2021 tent-pole movies have already been pushed to 2022.

There is also the reverberating effect to consider. When one business or industry is hit hard or goes down, others suffer from it. Here's an easy example. Think of the mind-boggling amount of popcorn buckets AMC goes through during a normal year. Now, remember that they have to order those buckets from somebody. And now imagine the impact that losing the AMC money would have on that supplier. There would be real consequences.

Theater and movie industries could also make changes

There are some changes that at least some theaters could make. A simple one is that some could lower ticket prices. With so few new movies, many have been showing popular classics in their place. It probably makes sense to most people that older movies should have a lower admission price. But it's not always that way at theaters. I might be willing to pay full-price to watch an eight-year-old film that I've already seen. But other people might not be. During a major recession. In the middle of a pandemic.

Movie studios could also step in, at least in some ways. Even with streaming services and the like, they do have a vested interest in theaters staying open.

If they didn't, they might well release their projects on their normal schedule. One way they could help is to take a small percentage of the admission price. At least during the first couple of weekends for whatever new releases there might be. A lot of people don't realize how much movie studios take out of the ticket profits. It's the biggest reason that concessions tend to cost so much. A little trim of the studios' cut could help theaters, whether they're independent or part of a major chain.

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