Read Christopher Nolan’s Passionate Piece on the Importance of Movie Theaters

You could hardly ask for a more passionate advocate for the importance of movie theaters than writer/director Christopher Nolan. The auteur of such epic, must-see-it-in-the-theater films like Inception, Interstellar, and, of course, The Dark Knight trilogy penned a passionate plea for the importance of movie theaters in the Washington Post as we face theater and production closures due to the spread of COVID-19. Nolan has long been an advocate for the movie theater experience. His upcoming film, the mysterious Tenetwas once again shot in part using IMAX cameras, was revealed in a six-and-a-half-minute mind-blowing sequence before IMAX screenings of The Rise of Skywalker. This sequence once again reinforced how Nolan crafts his films specifically to be experienced on the biggest screens possible.

With the spread of COVID-19 across the globe and the shuttering of movie theaters and movie and TV productions, Nolan’s op-ed for the Post gets at the heart of why movie theaters matter to society as a whole. Theaters are crucial not only as places strangers can gather to take part in a shared cultural experience (remember those days?) but also to all the people whose livelihoods depend on them.

“When people think about movies, their minds first go to the stars, the studios, the glamour. But the movie business is about everybody: the people working the concession stands, running the equipment, taking tickets, booking movies, selling advertising and cleaning bathrooms in local theaters,” Nolan writes. “Regular people, many paid hourly wages rather than a salary, earn a living running the most affordable and democratic of our community gathering places.”

There is a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the world right now. How long with the novel coronavirus lay waste to our collective health and well-being? What will the damage to the economy be? What will life look like after the pandemic has finally abated? We have no clear answers at present, which is why we’ll take a little clarity where we can. Nolan’s thoughtful piece on the importance of theaters doubles as a passionate plea to keep theaters and the people who work in them in the minds of officials who will be making major decisions in the days and weeks ahead.

“In this time of unprecedented challenge and uncertainty, it’s vital to acknowledge the prompt and responsible decisions made by all kinds of companies across our country that have closed their doors in full knowledge of the damage they are doing to their businesses,” Nolan writes. “Our nation’s incredible network of movie theaters is one of these industries, and as Congress considers applications for assistance from all sorts of affected businesses, I hope that people are seeing our exhibition community for what it really is: a vital part of social life, providing jobs for many and entertainment for all. These are places of joyful mingling where workers serve up stories and treats to the crowds that come to enjoy an evening out with friends and family. As a filmmaker, my work can never be complete without those workers and the audiences they welcome.”

Read Nolan’s full piece here.

Here’s more of our coverage on how COVID-19 is affecting the entertainment industry, and how the entertainment industry is trying to do their part to help:

The below-the-talent who will be hit the hardest.

How studios and celebrities are using their massive platforms to spread crucial information about COVID-19.

How filmmakers, like cinematographer Kira Kelly, are responding to their sudden furlough.

Amy Adams & Jennifer Garner Team Up to Help Kids Affected by COVID-19

Featured image: SANTA BARBARA, CA – FEBRUARY 06: Director Christopher Nolan speaks onstage at the Outstanding Directors Award Sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 6, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)


Bryan Abrams

Bryan Abrams is the Editor-in-chief of The Credits. He's run the site since its launch in 2012. He lives in New York.