Director Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk, Interstellar, and several Batman films) has asked the government to remember the nation’s movie theaters and their workers in any plans for financial relief in the wake of coronavirus shutdowns.
Writing in The Washington Post, Nolan reminded his readers that “When people think about movies, their minds first go to the stars, the studios, the glamour. 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.”
Nolan called movie theaters “a vital part of social life, providing jobs for many and entertainment for all.” He added, “As a filmmaker, my work can never be complete without those workers and the audiences they welcome.”
The moviegoing experience has for generations been reinforcing the notion that “we’re all in this together,” Nolan wrote. He called on the studios for “strategic and forward-thinking partnership from the studios. 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.”
The situation is dire as theaters go dark, but the short-term loss of them 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.”
“We need what movies can offer us,” he concluded. “Maybe, like me, you thought you were going to the movies for surround sound, or Goobers, or soda and popcorn, or movie stars. But we weren’t. We were there for each other.