Oatmill Cinema Complex in Mount Gambier has been given a lifeline from the pandemic, with a $60,000 grant under the Morrison Government’s $20 million Supporting Cinemas’ Retention Endurance and Enhancement of Neighbourhoods (SCREEN) Fund.

Member for Barker Tony Pasin said the Morrison Government is committed to keep cinemas operation during the pandemic.

“Independent cinemas are so important to the social and cultural health of our communities in Australia, which is why we acted quickly to introduce our $20 million SCREEN Fund to support the recovery from significant declines in revenue due to COVID-19,” Mr Pasin said.

“This funding will enable Oatmill Cinema Complex to keep operating during a period of severe disruption, which is important to the fabric of our community.”

Oatmill Cinema Complex Owner Shane Fulwood said “The Federal Governments support through the SCREEN fund has proved timelier and more valuable than I had anticipated even at the time of its announcement.”

“It has allowed the Oatmill Cinema to confidently ride out the last few months that have thrown up numerous challenges from state and local lock-downs and restrictions through to difficulties with film content due to extended lock-downs in NSW and Victoria.” Mr Fulwood said.

“We’ve been able to navigate this period that has been our lowest on record, down on even Sept/Oct 2020 and keep core staff employed, meet our supplier obligations without issue and more importantly plan with certainty a return to sustainable business in the near future and continue to bring the world through film to the audiences of the Limestone Coast.” Mr Fulwood said.

Administered by Screen Australia, the fund assists independent cinema operators who have experienced significant declines in revenue due to the pandemic, with one-off business continuity grants of up to $85,000.

In recognition of the economic, social and national importance of the cultural and creative sector, the Morrison Government is investing over $1 billion into the arts and creative sector in 2021-22.

SCREEN Fund applications are open until 24 December 2021 or until total funds are committed. For more information on the SCREEN Fund, visit: https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/funding-and-support/covid-19-support/screen-fund