You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Spain’s cinemas close to protest pic quotas

Movie fans had to look elsewhere for entertainment Monday when dozens of theaters closed to protest a government decree restricting popular U.S. films.

The decree, issued Thursday, followed last week’s conclusion of world trade talks that at European Community insistence did not lower barriers to imports of movies and television shows.

Members of the trading bloc, in particular France, argued that restrictions should remain on movies from Hollywood and elsewhere to protect domestic filmmakers and the cultures of the 12 EC member nations.

Jose Antonio Rodriguez Vispo, a spokesman for Spain’s Federation of Cinema Exhibitors and Distributors, said the 24-hour shutdown was being observed by a majority of theaters in the Madrid and southern Andalucia regions. He said he did not know about other parts of Spain.

Exhib ratios

The federation urged the strike to protest a decree that would require theaters in towns of 125,000 or more people to show one day of EC-produced films for every two days of non-EC films. Theaters in less populous areas would have to keep a ratio of 1-to-3.

According to the Culture Ministry, U.S. movies now account for 77% of all films shown in Spain’s 1,800 registered theaters. That compared to 9% for Spanish pix and 14% for films from other EC nations.

The Academy for Cinematic Arts & Sciences, which reps more than 500 Spanish movie producers, directors and other professionals, opposed the theater strike.

Punishment possible

Under the decree, theaters would face fines up to $ 75,000 and closure for up to six months for violating the ratio.

The decree, to be presented for parliamentary ratification today, will take effect immediately unless deputies vote to debate it and possibly consider amendments.

More Film

  • 'Shelved' Launches China-New Zealand Production Alliance

    Andrew Adamson's 'Shelved' Launches China-New Zealand Production Alliance (EXCLUSIVE)

    Movie fans had to look elsewhere for entertainment Monday when dozens of theaters closed to protest a government decree restricting popular U.S. films. The decree, issued Thursday, followed last week’s conclusion of world trade talks that at European Community insistence did not lower barriers to imports of movies and television shows. Members of the trading […]

  • Robert Zemeckis

    Robert Zemeckis to Direct Adaptation of Roald Dahl's 'The Witches' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Movie fans had to look elsewhere for entertainment Monday when dozens of theaters closed to protest a government decree restricting popular U.S. films. The decree, issued Thursday, followed last week’s conclusion of world trade talks that at European Community insistence did not lower barriers to imports of movies and television shows. Members of the trading […]

  • Morgan Neville

    Director Morgan Neville on the Mr. Rogers Movie That Will Make You Cry

    Movie fans had to look elsewhere for entertainment Monday when dozens of theaters closed to protest a government decree restricting popular U.S. films. The decree, issued Thursday, followed last week’s conclusion of world trade talks that at European Community insistence did not lower barriers to imports of movies and television shows. Members of the trading […]

  • 'Uncle Drew' Review: Kyrie Irving Takes

    Film Review: 'Uncle Drew'

    Movie fans had to look elsewhere for entertainment Monday when dozens of theaters closed to protest a government decree restricting popular U.S. films. The decree, issued Thursday, followed last week’s conclusion of world trade talks that at European Community insistence did not lower barriers to imports of movies and television shows. Members of the trading […]

  • Owen (CHRIS PRATT) and Blue face

    Box Office: 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' to Devour $130 Million in Debut

    Movie fans had to look elsewhere for entertainment Monday when dozens of theaters closed to protest a government decree restricting popular U.S. films. The decree, issued Thursday, followed last week’s conclusion of world trade talks that at European Community insistence did not lower barriers to imports of movies and television shows. Members of the trading […]

  • Carlo ChatrianLocarno International Film Festival programme

    Berlin Film Festival Set to Hire Locarno Chief Carlo Chatrian as Artistic Director

    Movie fans had to look elsewhere for entertainment Monday when dozens of theaters closed to protest a government decree restricting popular U.S. films. The decree, issued Thursday, followed last week’s conclusion of world trade talks that at European Community insistence did not lower barriers to imports of movies and television shows. Members of the trading […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content