UK Cinema Association Implores Moviegoers to #KeeptheMagicAlive with Talent-Backed Open Letter

The UK Cinema Association, the trade body representing cinema operators in the United Kingdom, has added a slew of notable names to their campaign aimed at securing additional government support for their member theaters.

The social media-based media campaign, #KeeptheMagicAlive, launched in December with the goal of spurring moviegoers to write their MPs asking for targeted support for the cinema sector. The campaign has gained momentum today with an open letter to the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, published in the Sunday Times and signed by over 40 leading UK cinema figures, including Steve McQueen, Danny Boyle, and Stephen Fry (who narrated the first #KeeptheMagicAlive video).

Reads the open letter:

“All of our careers have been built in large part on the benefits brought by UK cinemas. But these venues are amongst those which have been hit hardest by COVID-19 and need further support if they are to survive and continue to serve their communities.

 Cinema-going offers proven benefits when it comes to jobs, high street footfall and community cohesion. The mental health benefits are more important than ever in the current time. And the cinema experience has given generations of children and adults the opportunity to enjoy the magic of the big screen.

This is now all at risk. There is no doubt that if supported to survive, the sector will recover and once again thrive. But the need for direct financial support is pressing. 

We recognise the support that government has already been able to provide. But we fear that this will not be enough, with the challenges being most acute for those larger cinema operators who have not been able to access any tailored funding. 

These companies represent over 80 per cent of the market, in many ways constituting its ‘critical mass’ and helping to drive the success of associated sectors such as film distribution and production coalesce. Without them, the future of the entire UK film industry would look extremely precarious. 

We very much hope that Government will respond to this call. UK cinema stands on the edge of an abyss. We urgently need targeted funding support to ensure that future generations can enjoy the magic of cinema.”

“We are hugely grateful to the government for the furlough scheme and other business support, all of which has helped to see our members through the COVID crisis to date,” said UKCA CEO Phil Clapp at the time of the campaign’s launch. “But given ongoing challenges, we believe that many cinemas will need further direct funding if they are to survive and recover in 2021.”

The complete list of leading industury figures who have signed the letter is:

Those supporting the letter include: Andrea Arnold OBE, Amma Asante MBE, Simon Beaufoy, Tim Bevan CBE, Danny Boyle, Graham Broadbent, Barbara Broccoli OBE, Iain Canning, Gurinder Chadha OBE, Noel Clarke, Richard Curtis CBE, Stephen Daldry CBE, Gareth Edwards, Eric Fellner CBE, Stephen Frears, Stephen Fry, Sarah Gavron, Jane Goldman, Paul Greengrass, David Heyman, Armando Iannucci OBE, Asif Kapadia, Elizabeth Karlsen, Duncan Kenworthy OBE, Paul King, Jude Law, Philippa Lowthorpe, Andrew Macdonald, Kevin Macdonald, Steve McQueen CBE, Sam Mendes CBE, Peter Morgan CBE, Christopher Nolan, Nira Park, David Puttnam CBE, Lynne Ramsay, Guy Ritchie, Ridley Scott, Emma Thomas, Matthew Vaughn, Ben Wheatley, Michael G. Wilson OBE, Stephen Woolley, Edgar Wright, Joe Wright.

News Stories