Echuca’s Paramount Cinemas has for the second time been granted $60,000 from a Federal Government fund that is assisting independent cinema operators 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) first supported Echuca Paramount with a $60,000 grant in July last year.

“The past two years have been the hardest in history for several sectors, including local cinemas that in normal times play an incredibly important role within their community,” Mr Drum said.

“This latest $60,000 grant will further assist Echuca Paramount’s recovery from the severe disruption that significantly impacted its revenue streams, and work towards restoring normal operations as COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease.”

In October, the Kyabram Plaza Theatre was granted $35,000 as part of the SCREEN fund.

Administered by Screen Australia, the fund offers grants of up to $85,000. Any eligible independent cinema can apply for the financial assistance provided it can demonstrate a minimum 30 per decline in revenue when compared to the relevant pre-COVID quarter.

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, said independent cinemas are a vital component of Australia’s economic, social, and cultural wellbeing.

“The Federal Government is continuing to provide one-off business continuity grants to support the resurgence of cinemas from prolonged closures and capacity restrictions,” Mr Fletcher said.

“We want to keep their doors open, continue offering employment opportunities, and carry on showcasing diverse stories to entertain their communities.”

SCREEN applications close April 29 or until total funds are committed.

Go to the Screen Australia website for more information.

ENDS

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