German state relents on theater-coin cuts

Move may save 40 small moviehouses

BERLIN — Cinema owners in the state of Saxony are celebrating the government’s change of heart regarding movie theater subsidies.

The state government had announced it was eliminating DM$100,000 ($54,000) in financial support for needy cinemas from its budget, spurring theater owners to cry foul.

With the help of the Association of German Cinemas (HDF), they protested against the planned cuts, saying some 40 small-town cimemas in Saxony were in danger of going out of business without government help.

The money is used by theater owners to acquire additional hard-to-get prints, most of which end up at the big movie houses and multiplexes of the state’s main cities.

The government also announced it will be integrating its cinema support funds into the larger regional media fund, the Mitteldeutsche Medienfoerderung, which serves the former East German states.

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