Government leaves operators in the lurch – The bankrupt vulture circles over the cinemas – Domestic politics

If there were a film about the November aid it would be a tragedy!

Due to the corona virus, our cinemas are closed and have been fighting for survival for several months. In order to survive the pandemic to some extent, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (62, SPD) and Peter Altmaier (62, CDU) promised the cinemas an aid package.

But the fact is: to date, almost nothing has arrived.

Now the cinema owners are going on the barricades, writing a tough letter to the two ministers – the message: Keep your promise, it won’t go on like this!

In the letter (available exclusively from BILD) the Main Association of German Film Theaters (HDF) demands that the promised aid payments finally reach the cinema owners. Otherwise, “there is a risk of a wave of insolvencies of a not yet foreseeable extent,” said HDF boss Christine Berg (54).

The cinema operators so far have no information about when the entire funding amount will be paid out. “All reserves and KfW loans have now been used up. We are now at a stage of liquidity bottlenecks that should actually have been absorbed by your funding, ”the association appeals to the two ministers.

Berg zu BILD: “Politicians must immediately close the existing and content-wise complicated loopholes and finally provide financial support to all cinemas in Germany. Mr. Altmaier and Mr. Scholz, keep your promise! “

Foto: PR

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Christine Berg has been chairwoman of the cinema association’s board of directors since August 2019Foto: PR

The complete cinema letter to politicians:

Page 1 of the letter

Page 1 of the letter

Page 2

Page 2

How much have the cinemas already received?

When asked by BILD, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said: A total of around 14.4 million euros were paid out for the November and December aid.

For comparison: Overall, the cinemas lost 1 BILLION euros in 2020!

For many cinemas, the aid payments are the last chance to somehow make it. Rent, insurance, salaries – everything has to be paid for. Without the promised money, cinema owners face enormous problems.

CinemaxX founder and cinema owner Hans-Joachim Flebbe (69) supports the fire letter to the government and thinks the current situation is incredible. Flebbe to BILD: “I am massively disappointed by our announcement world champions in politics. The money from the promised November aid is still not there. I feel like in a banana republic! “

Flebbe operates a total of eight cinemas in Germany. All movie theaters together generate a loss of around 1 million euros in lockdown – per month! The loss for 2020 is therefore over 10 million euros. What did he get from the government? “I received 1.2 million euros as a grant, almost exclusively from state funding, no oomph aid,” explains Flebbe. “We don’t want to get rich, it’s just about survival.”

Hans-Joachim Flebbe gründete 1998 die bekannte Kino-Kette CinemaxXFoto: picture alliance / Geisler-Fotopress

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In 1998, Hans-Joachim Flebbe founded the well-known cinema chain CinemaxXFoto: picture alliance / Geisler-Fotopress

His blatant example: Flebbe made a loss of 3.5 million euros in his cinema in Braunschweig last year. So far, however, only 38,000 euros have been received as compensation.

Flebbe: “I’m absolutely angry with the way the cinemas are handled. A work ban was imposed on us. Which is okay if it protects society. But we were left completely alone with the losses. “

CineStar boss Oliver Fock also worries about the future of cinemas. When asked whether he has already received the promised aid payments, Fock replied to BILD: “We have just received an advance payment of 50,000 euros from the federal government for the first time. For our company that is just 0.014 percent of the announced November and December aid! “

Steht vor gewaltigen Problemen: ein CineStar-Kino in BerlinFoto: picture alliance / POP-EYE

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CineStar cinema in Berlin – the operators are facing huge problems Foto: picture alliance / POP-EYE

How does the cinema boss feel about the future?

Fock: “We’re trying not to lose heart. But politicians must finally keep their promises and support all cinemas. “

Now it remains to be seen whether payments will arrive and whether the tragedy will have a “happy ending” after all.


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