Scott Cooper’s Open Letter
On March 26, Scott Cooper applauded the Senate’s $2.2 trillion relief bill, calling it “much-need positive news to an industry I cherish.” Cooper’s full letter was circulated by the National Association of Theater Owners.
“I don’t have to remind anyone who reads this that we are experiencing a singular time in our nation’s history when nearly every theater in our country is closed (save for a few die-hard Drive-In Theaters). For the first time since D.W. Griﬃth’s 17-minute, In Old California, was beamed on a white canvas, in Hollywood, on March 10, 1910, there are no new feature-films to be found playing anywhere.
Not even during wartime have we been deprived of the strong and collective emotion that comes with a film screening, one of our most cherished common experiences. In this time of unprecedented challenge and uncertainty, the world mustn’t forget the importance of cinema as a balm for what ails us. The combined impact of images, sound, and special eﬀects elicit deep feelings and help us better understand our own lives, and those around us. Films speak to the most central aspect of “who we are”.
Along with the National Association of Theater Owners and moviegoers the nation over, I applaud the $2.2 trillion Senate aid package meant to ease immediate economic burdens across the country and to allow movie theaters to cover fixed costs while normal revenue is interrupted. This is a welcome boost of confidence.
Any return to normalcy is far oﬀ, but this aid package is much-need positive news to an industry I cherish, and, one, along with so many other industries and citizens, that is suﬀering. The exhibition of feature films is a vital part of our social life and one that provides jobs to over 150,000 theater employees, all of whom are unemployed as a result of the closures. We must continue to work together to support an industry that is vital to our cultural and civic life.
Films will always allow us to explore the past, the present, and the future. They will create conversation and debate. Here’s to a future of good health, and to a return to our cinemas, where the synergistic impact of the film continues to create a powerful sense of emotion and engagement — a living record of the human condition.”