Beijing to Disburse 3 Million Yuan to Struggling Cinemas

Movie theaters in the city will receive $1,600 on average from a special development fund that is normally allocated toward subsidizing film productions and building new cinemas.

Some 260 movie theaters in Beijing will receive payments from a “special development fund” of 3 million yuan ($424,000), the city’s finance bureau announced Tuesday. The move is intended to help the struggling businesses as Beijing grapples with a second wave of coronavirus infections.

The China Film Administration imposes a 5% tax on the domestic box office, diverting this revenue toward subsidizing film productions and building new movie theatres.

According to the announcement, the 3 million yuan fund was generated from box office revenue from Jan. 1 to Jan. 23 — the day Wuhan, the city in central China where the coronavirus was first detected, went into lockdown.

China’s film industry has been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. In mid-May, the central government approved the reopening of certain indoor venues including cinemas, theaters, and karaoke facilities. Weeks later, however, such venues in several cities including Shanghai and Chengdu were ordered to shut down again amid fears of a rebound.

The pandemic has resulted in estimated box office losses of more than 30 billion yuan, according to the National Film Bureau. While the payments should provide some relief for cinemas, some commentators worry they’ll only be a drop in the bucket toward reviving China’s flagging film industry. Continue to read the full article here



– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone.