The German Federal Film Board has published its semi-annual Kinobilanz, where it itself is astonished to note that the cinema stock has declined only minimally despite the Corona crisis. Thus the declines in the lowest percentage range between 0.3 percent with the cinema enterprises and 1.7 percent with the seats. So the much feared cinema death has not taken place so far.
But how have cinemas survived the difficult period of closed theaters? However, only less than half of the cinema operators (45%) applied for the bridging aid III granted by the Ministry of Economics, which is supposed to compensate for Corona-related declines in sales. This was due to the very narrowly defined eligibility criteria, especially at the beginning, which excluded larger cinema companies and whose aid money was often paid out very late (some companies are still waiting for it today).
According to the Hauptverband Deutscher Filmtheater (HDF), the main rescue came from the numerous state subsidy programs and the state short-time allowance. The state programs were quicker to start than the federal program, and their funds were also disbursed more promptly, thus helping to pay the cinemas& fixed costs that had to be met despite the closures.
The short-time allowance also helped the cinemas to cut their running costs decisively while still retaining their staff (without enough employees, it would have been difficult to restart when they reopened - the catering industry, for example, suffers massively from the lack of employees).
Smaller arthouse cinemas were also helped by cinema program prizes offered by the federal states, as well as solidarity campaigns by the public, such as the purchase of cinema vouchers. But HDF executive Römer urges caution at in the Tagesspiegel: the aid may have enabled the cinemas to stay afloat for the time being, but no reserves could be built up or loans repaid. In her opinion, it is therefore important for the cinemas to be able to return to normal business soon if they are to survive in the long term.