Christopher Nolan writes essay urging people to help cinemas survive amid coronavirus pandemic
Critically acclaimed film director Christopher Nolan is appealing to film fans to help save cinemas during the current coronavirus pandemic.
Nolan, whose newest film Tenet has been hit by the uncertainty surrounding the global health crisis, was due to send his huge box office project to screenings on July 17th. Now, however, as cinemas around the world are forced to close amid the social distancing measures, Nolan is urging fans to save the foundation.
The ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease was first officially identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei in China. As of March 21st, more than 290,316 cases of COVID-19 have been officially confirmed but the actual number is thought to be much higher due to substantial under-reporting of cases.
With more than 11,953 people having died from the virus, COVID-19 has now spread into more than 180 other countries—including mainland Europe, South America and North America. Given the exponential growth in cases in countries like Italy and Spain, the WHO have now stated that Europe was the current centre of the pandemic.
In a new op-ed published in The Washington Post, Nolan has reminded film fans that all cinemas will need supporting once the coronavirus pandemic has past and cinemas reopen: “When people think about movies, their minds first go to the stars, the studios, the glamour,” Nolan writes. “But the movie business is about everybody: the people working the concession stands, running the equipment, taking tickets, booking movies, selling advertising and cleaning bathrooms in local theaters. Regular people, many paid hourly wages rather than a salary, earn a living running the most affordable and democratic of our community gathering places.”
Nolan continues: “…as Congress considers applications for assistance from all sorts of affected businesses, I hope that people are seeing our exhibition community for what it really is: a vital part of social life, providing jobs for many and entertainment for all. These are places of joyful mingling where workers serve up stories and treats to the crowds that come to enjoy an evening out with friends and family. As a filmmaker, my work can never be complete without those workers and the audiences they welcome,” writes Nolan, whose own films, from “Inception” to “Dunkirk,” consistently demand a proper theatrical experience.
“The past few weeks have been a reminder, if we needed one, that there are parts of life that are far more important than going to the movies. But, when you consider what theaters provide, maybe not so many as you might think. Movie theaters have gone dark, and will stay that way for a time. But movies, unlike unsold produce or unearned interest, don’t cease to be of value. Much of this short-term loss is recoverable. When this crisis passes, the need for collective human engagement, the need to live and love and laugh and cry together, will be more powerful than ever.
“The combination of that pent-up demand and the promise of new movies could boost local economies and contribute billions to our national economy. We don’t just owe it to the 150,000 workers of this great American industry to include them in those we help, we owe it to ourselves. We need what movies can offer us.”