The Kyabram Plaza Theatre has been given a financial boost after enduring almost two years of intermittent COVID-19 lockdowns, with a $35,000 grant awarded via the Federal Government’s SCREEN fund.

Federal Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum, said the $20 million non-competitive grant program was supporting the recovery of independent cinemas such as the Kyabram Plaza Theatre from significant declines in revenue due to COVID-19.

“Kyabram Plaza Theatre has a long history in the region, and I’m thrilled it has been able to access this funding during a time when the future of cinemas, particularly independent ones, has been threatened like never before,” Mr Drum said.

“The SCREEN fund is enabling independent cinemas across the country to keep operating during a period of severe disruption, and I hope, like everyone else, that with vaccination rates growing at a rapid rate, this disruption will very soon be a thing of the past.”

Administered by Screen Australia, the Supporting Cinemas’ Retention Endurance and Enhancement of Neighbourhoods (SCREEN) fund assists independent cinema operators who have experienced significant declines in revenue due to the pandemic, with one-off business continuity grants of up to $85,000.

In July, Echuca’s Paramount Cinemas was granted $60,000 as part of the SCREEN fund.

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, said the Federal Government was committed to keeping cinemas operating during the pandemic.

“Independent cinemas are so important to the social and cultural health of our communities in Australia, which is why we acted quickly to introduce our $20 million SCREEN fund,” 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.

In recognition of the economic, social, and national importance of the cultural and creative sector, the Federal Government is investing over $1 billion into the arts and creative sector in 2021-22.

ENDS

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