Echuca’s Paramount Cinemas has been granted $60,000 as part of a Federal Government fund that is assisting independent cinema operators that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Federal Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum, said the $20 million Supporting Cinemas’ Retention Endurance and Enhancement of Neighbourhoods (SCREEN) had so far supported 158 cinemas across Australia.

“I’m happy that Paramount Cinemas in Echuca is receiving this important funding given the difficulties and uncertainty that operators have experienced for the better part of 18 months,” Mr Drum said.

“This funding will enable our independent cinemas to keep operating during a period of severe disruption that continues to significantly impact the bottom line of businesses.”

The first round of SCREEN grants total $8.7 million, with the remaining $11.3 million to be allocated throughout the remainder of 2021.

Administered by Screen Australia, the fund offers one-off grants of up to $85,000. Any eligible independent cinema can apply for the financial assistance, which is being provided on a rolling basis as applications are received.

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, said independent cinemas were very important to the social and cultural health of communities.

“Through this fund we are already enabling 158 cinemas to keep operating and to provide a popular, low-cost and COVID-safe way for people to go out and enjoy a movie as part of a community – particularly in regional areas,” Mr Fletcher said.

SCREEN applications are open until December 24 or until total funds are committed. Go to the Screen Australia website for more information.

ENDS

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