Acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan wrote an essay expressing the cultural importance of movie theaters, and he asked the government to help ensure cinemas survive the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
His published essay is available behind a paywall on The Washington Post. According to IndieWire, the director believes theaters will struggle to stay afloat after the virus subsides, and that moviegoers will need to help them survive in a big way.
He began his letter by clarifying that movie theaters are about much more than “the stars, the studios,” and “the glamour.” He implored audiences to consider all of the other people who are employed by the movie industry, including the thousands of folks who work for hourly wages at the theater selling concessions, taking tickets, and more.
“As a filmmaker, my work can never be complete without those workers and the audiences they welcome.”
Nolan has been vocal about his love of proper theatrical experiences in the past. He pleaded with audiences to watch his Academy Award-winning film, Dunkirk, on the big screen to get the full experience rather than watching it for the first time on their home television sets.
He clarified that there were things in life more critical than going to see a movie, but that the shared experiences between audience members are still an essential part of life thanks to the way it brings people together.
“Much of this short-term loss 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,” wrote The Dark Knight director.
Nolan believes that if audiences return to theaters in a big way once the coronavirus pandemic passes, it could aid the “our national economy,” and help the “150,000 workers of this great American industry.”
Within the past week, all three major theater chains in the U.S. have closed their doors for the foreseeable future, which includes Regal Cinemas, AMC Theaters, and Cinemark. Many smaller cinemas are being hit particularly hard by the closures, especially in big cities like New York and Los Angeles.
Nolan’s next film is a big-budget thriller starring John David Washington and Robert Pattinson. The film, titled Tenet, is supposed to hit theaters on July 17. However, depending on the current public health crisis, it could be postponed like so many other major film releases have been, such as Black Widow and A Quiet Place Part II.
Nolan is not the only director to ask moviegoers to help theaters survive. Last week, IndieWire also reported that Edgar Wright offered some advice in a similar essay.