The theaters and cinemas which had resumed their activity since the summer, under reduced and sometimes financially complicated conditions, already seem to be resigned to having to completely close their doors. Heard on Tuesday October 27 by the Senate Culture Committee on their future, their representatives showed a certain fatalism in the face of the prospect of new health measures to be announced this Wednesday October 28 by the President of the Republic.
Faced with new restrictions, 115 million euros in aid for culture
They hardly have any illusions. Whether it is an extension of the curfew in the evenings and weekends or a general reconfinement, in both cases these measures will involve a total closure of their establishments. ” We cannot stay open for a few performances in the afternoon », Explained a manager of the private theater.
When it comes to film releases, ” they would have no meaning if they were deprived of Parisian theaters, the voluntarist distributors until then would no longer follow », Underlined Marc-Olivier Sebbag of the National Federation of French Cinemas (FNCF).
Structures at the limit of their adaptability
A situation considered particularly “ unfair ”While some of the theaters were just beginning to recover from the measures taken since last spring in the face of the epidemic. ” We have been exemplary in the application of sanitary instructions, we have invested in a new season, we have managed to regain the public’s confidence and we will not be able to continue, it is regrettable, Judge Bertrand Thamin of the National Private Theater Syndicate (SNTP). I have the weakness to think that culture if it is not essential is at least fundamental. “
Professionals in the sector, who praised the responsiveness of the Ministry of Culture throughout the crisis, anticipated the new difficulties that lie ahead by asking for the transformation of the aid planned to relaunch their activities into massive support for establishments to help them. to overcome this new period of closure. ” We are at the limit of our adaptability »Underlined Aurélie Foucher of the Union Syndicale des Employeurs du Sector d’Enseignement Communique (USEP).
New emergency measures
With fragile cash flow and low profitability, most theater operators have been hit hard financially by the past seven months and are already recording significant losses. Particularly in the music sector where the Prodiss, the union that brings together actors in musical shows, has estimated the cumulative deficit of all of its structures at 250 million euros, and anticipates the failure of one in two companies. and the elimination of half of permanent jobs. For cinemas, whose average attendance over the year has fallen by 60%, the losses would be of the order of 800 million euros, according to the FNCF.
In this context, and taking into account the aid already announced for culture, professionals called for new emergency measures to meet their fixed costs, in particular by helping lessors whose rents have not been paid for months and by granting more flexibility in the repayment of loans guaranteed by the State that their structures contracted during the first containment.