• Tony Bosworth

Show must go on for local independent cinemas like Richmond Regent - says MP Templeman

There’s nothing quite like watching a movie on the big screen – it’s been a favourite pastime of many for decades, not least in Richmond where the Regent Twin Cinema is an iconic Richmond landmark.

MP Susan Templeman in the foyer of Richmond's Regent Twin Cinema with owner John Levy

Macquarie MP Susan Templeman, is calling on the government to help the show go on for local independent cinemas by continuing JobKeeper, which has helped save many a business during Covid.

Ms Templeman has joined a campaign run by Independent Cinemas Australia to put pressure on the federal government to Save Local Cinemas and extend JobKeeper to the sector beyond the current March deadline.

“Local independent cinemas have been hit hard by Covid-19. Audiences are down, release and promotion of movies is down, but the costs incurred for managing Covid-safe practices – like extra cleaning – are up,” Ms Templeman said.

“Those who have been able to keep operating because of JobKeeper are about to have it ripped away in March, and with a lack of blockbuster movies in the pipeline to draw in the crowds, many independent cinemas are concerned about their ability to stay open and keep local jobs. “I love going to the cinema, and I was lucky to be able to see several movies at Glenbrook Cinema over the summer break with my mum, including The Dry and Misbehaviour.

“The Blue Mountains is lucky enough to have three independent cinemas - Glenbrook, Mount Vic Flicks, and The Edge at Katoomba – while the Hawkesbury has Richmond Regent Twin Cinemas.

“Unfortunately the Morrison Government has forgotten the plight of our independent cinemas,” claims Ms Templeman. “Independent cinemas are a vital part of the screen ecosystem, bringing big movies to our region and also helping Australian stories reach the wider community. According to Independent Cinemas Australia, many cinemas are in danger of going under if they do not receive ongoing support beyond the JobKeeper cliff at the end of March. “The Prime Minister can’t ignore this sector and its pleas for help. Independent cinemas provide communities like ours with both local jobs and Australian stories – both of these are too important to lose.

“It’s time for the Morrison Government to act.”

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