How Movie Theaters Became Lobbying Stars

“I tell you, we don’t want to lose a single room! » When he launches this bravado promise, in “l’Obs”, at the dawn of the confinement of 2020, Richard Patry, the president of the National Federation of French Cinemas (FNCF), does not know that the screen will remain black for three hundred days . But the sequel proved him right. Arthouse or itinerant circuits, multiplexes, municipal or private properties, this cultural network of 6,193 screens in front of which politicians swoon is still there, intact.

The cinema lobby, unknown but powerful, to which the State always pays attention, has outdone itself. “We would have had to do our part to go bankrupt, confides, treacherous, an expert in the sector. With unlimited public funding…” Unlimited, no, but much higher than anywhere else.

However, the recent Film Festival, with invigorating success, does not hide the reality: a third of the public has vanished with the Covid. No one knows if he will return. The sale of the CGR network, second behind Pathé Gaumont, creates uncertainty. And now the Disney Christmas, “Avalonia, the strange journey”, will be released in France, exclusively on the group’s streaming platform.

Rima Abdul-Malak, the new Minister of Culture, would have done well without such an ukase which will deprive the families of a party and will weaken the rooms. Nothing that happens to them matters to him because they are the supporting wall of the sector. “We will be there, [leur] side “, she promised on 1

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