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In March 2020, the overwhelming majority of cinemas in Europe closed as part of measures to limit the spread of the Coronavirus outbreak. Here's a reminder of what makes the Big Screen experience so special and the support the sector needs going forward.

Over the past few months, the COVID-19 crisis has deeply impacted lives and livelihoods across the world, with businesses of all sizes facing grave economic consequences of the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in. 

The European cinema industry is of course no different - in March 2020, the vast majority of cinemas in Europe were forced to close their doors to ensure the safety of audiences and staff alike. 

As the crisis now progresses and cinemas begin to reopen in a number of regions, it is crucial that the value of the Big Screen experience remains firmly in view, particularly with regard to the various support measures that have been introduced across Europe. 

We would therefore like to again highlight precisely what makes cinema-going so special and outline areas in which support for the sector could prove most effective - at both national and EU level, as well from within the sector itself. We can't stress enough how critical such measures will be for the future of our industry, both during closure and once our doors reopen - safeguarding the sector's prosperity will be a marathon, not a sprint. 

Looking ahead, such measures will not only ensure that the sector can weather this storm, but will also greatly contribute to its ability to continue its upward trajectory and welcome audiences back to once again enjoy the unparalleled experience of watching films together on the Big Screen. 

For more information on the current state of play, including governmental support, and what cinemas themselves are doing to keep audiences engaged during these turbulent times, please consult our ongoing research document here

UNIC manifesto on the value of the European cinema industry (pdf)
UNIC infographic on support measures for the European cinema industry (pdf)

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