Under the American Rescue Plan, entertainment venues across the Central Coast were given a combined $27.3 million as part of Shuttered Venue Operators Grants passed by congress in December.
Among those venues are the Fremont Theatre Entertainment Group, Central Coast Performing Arts Center Commission, and Central Coast Cinemas, the company that runs Park Cinemas in Paso Robles. KSBY’s Neil Hebert spoke with John Roush, the president of the company on what the $1.01 million did to help keep his them afloat.
“Basically, it paid all the bills that we have accrued through April of this year,” said John Roush, President of Park Cinemas. “It’s a huge amount of money, and it’s gone. It’s already been spent, just paying up rent for the landlord, property taxes, and all the past bills we’ve acquired. Even though we were closed, it still cost us money to run.”
Roush says if it wasn’t for COVID relief money, many of the businesses, including movie theaters, would struggle to make it back on their feet.
“Many of them would probably be out of business if this hadn’t come through. Hopefully it’s going to save all the venues so we can bring back the movies, entertainment, concerts, back to the public,” said Roush. “Going to the movies is like an event for people. Children love to go to the movies; get fresh popped popcorn, a drink, and some candy and get to watch it with their friends.”
In all, 41 different venues were given relief money on the Central Coast as part of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grants. Throughout the United States, more than $16 billion was given to entertainment venues.