16-03-2020

Bulgaria Declares State of Emergency as Financial Losses for Cinemas Mount

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SOFIA: Bulgaria’s government has declared a “one month state of emergency on the territory of the whole country”. It was immediately and unanimously voted by the country’s Parliament on 13 March 2020. The emergency measures include closing all cinemas and come shortly after having eased restrictions on cinema screenings only last week.

Under the emergency rules “cultural and entertainment venues like cinemas, theaters, concert halls, museums, conferences, symposia, sports, SPA and gym centres” must stay closed until 13 April 2020. Schools, universities and kindergartens will also remain closed, while visits to bars, restaurants and shops, except for supermarkets and pharmacies, are banned.

The financial losses for distributors and cinemas only for the month of March 2020 are estimated at 1,578,505 EUR. The calculation is based on an average attendance of 313,000 admissions.

The situation is most dangerous for smaller companies, specialised in the distribution of European films. One of them is 6A Media Entertainment, which releases an average of 13 titles per year. “Due to the postponement of the Sofia FF to June 2020 my company is losing the money invested in the films I was to screen during the festival. Now I have to wait three months without any revenues and without being sure that this money will be recovered one day. My losses could overpass the amount of 30,000 EUR and this is a lot for a micro enterprise”, owner and manager Ginka Andreeva told FNE.

Bulgaria has 51 cases of coronavirus infection so far.