#SaveYourCinema campaign hopes community, Congress will save cinemas
ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – With cinemas still closed, an organization is fighting to prevent small cinemas from closing permanently. Albuquerque’s Flix Brewhouse employs over 100 people. With the state’s public health order keeping theaters closed, they fear shutting down and leaving workers dry.
âIf Flix goes to Albuquerque, we’re not talking, oh, a handful of teenagers are going to work at McDonald’s,â said Greg Johnson, director of sales and marketing for Flix Brewhouse. âWe have over 150 team members who are people from Albuquerque. It’s not just teenagers. It’s the cooks, it’s the brewers, it’s the bartenders, it’s the managers.
Flix, along with the National Association of Theater Owners, is launching #SaveYourCinema. It is a campaign that is heading directly to Congress.
âObviously, we need to come together to seek help, not only from our customers, from our customers, but also from our elected officials who can actually implement change,â Johnson said. âIn the first week since the campaign launched, over 160,000 messages were delivered to members of Congress and Senators, Members of Congress and Senators. We know they are listening. I submitted it and got a message from my representative.
They hope lawmakers will hear them. Using a basic online letter-writing campaign, they’re trying to reach as many elected officials as possible and find a way to keep theaters afloat.
âThere is a pre-written letter that goes straight to your reps as long as you make sure your zip code is there,â Johnson said. âIt gives us hope for some relief and help. We believe cinema is an important part of the fabric of what makes entertainment great. “
Movie fan Deena Duran says she sees Flix as a small business. The movie theater chain has only a handful across the country and one location in New Mexico. She fears that they will struggle if they do not reopen soon.
âCinemas like Flix are more of a small business and I think they’re the ones who are really going to have a hard time if they have to stay closed,â said Duran. “I have contacted my representatives to express my opinion on this matter because it means a lot to me.”
Andrew Bundy says he hopes to return to Flix, even if it’s to watch older, family-friendly movies. Many new movies have pushed back their release dates in recent months, sometimes up to six months to a year from their original dates.
âWe were really worried. It seems too strange that this industry is somehow left out of what is considered capable of opening up, âBundy said. âMake sure the governor knows it’s something we’re interested in. “
Johnson says the residents’ support keeps them alive. While some Flix locations in the US may have reopened, he hopes Albuquerque theaters will soon do so. They hope to reopen in Albuquerque within the next month.
âHearing all the voices from all of our guests has been really positive,â Johnson said. “I hope this will translate into action.”
In New Mexico, Senator Martin Heinrich responded, saying he hopes to get more stimulus money for companies like Flix. For those who wish to contact their local representatives and senators, the sample letter is available on the Save Your Cinema website.