Iowa launches movie theater COVID-relief fund

(Des Moines, IA) -- The state is starting a program to help movie theaters, impacted by the pandemic. The fund will provide up to 10-thousand dollars per screen to help nearly 150- theaters in the state. The state has allocated more than five million dollars of federal CARES Act funds for the program.

“Throughout this pandemic, we have worked to find a balance to protect the lives and livelihoods of Iowans,” said Gov. Reynolds. “In so many small towns and rural communities, a movie theater can be the lifeblood of main street. This program will assist movie theaters in their day-to-day operations alleviating some of the economic strain they are seeing as a result of virus mitigation and social distancing practices.”

The statewide program, an extension of the Small Business Relief Grant program, is offered through the IEDA.

To be eligible for a grant, the applicant must demonstrate that it:

Operates movie screen(s) in Iowa showing films open to all ages

Conducted regularly scheduled screenings in Iowa in Calendar Year 2019

Was subject to limitations or restrictions described in a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency issued by Gov. Reynolds on or after March 17, 2020, or it has not been able to host screenings in Iowa between March 17, 2020, and the submission date of the application for assistance through the Fund

Incurred a revenue loss in Calendar Year 2020 due to the pandemic as compared with Calendar Year 2019

Theatres with corporate ownership based outside of Iowa, with additional screens outside of Iowa, must use this grant for their Iowa-based screens and/or operations. Submissions will only be accepted via online submission. The application window will open on Monday, November 9, and close at 5 p.m. on Monday, November 16, 2020.

For a full list of eligibility requirements, additional information, and to apply, visit

(Photo: Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

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