Business Oregon is receiving American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to exclusively support small, independent community movie theaters that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

If eligibility criteria is met, grants can go up to $40,000 per theater location, with $5 million in total allocated to the program.

This program has three phases; phase 2 will support Live Event Venues and phase 3 will support Live Event Support Industries. Stay tuned for these programs to go live this spring.

Small and independent community movie theaters are defined as movie theaters locally owned and operated independent of national chains.


  • The theater must be an indoor movie theater whose primary operation is the regular exhibition of motion pictures to the general public, typically for a fee.
  • Theaters with multiple screens are eligible for additional funding above the standard $40,000 grant.
  • Business Oregon will adjust additional per-screen award amounts to ensure all eligible theaters are treated equitably.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate via their tax returns a minimum of 20% loss of revenue for the calendar year 2020 for each theater for which they are applying.

The grant may be used to cover operating costs during recovery from business closures due to the pandemic including:

  • Payroll and benefits costs
  • Costs to retain employees
  • Mortgage, rent, or utilities costs
  • Other operating costs

Grants can also cover costs incurred to implement COVID-19 prevention or mitigation measures such as:

  • Physical plant changes to enable social distancing
  • Enhanced cleaning efforts
  • Barriers or partitions
  • COVID-19 vaccination, testing, or contact tracing programs
  • Costs for technical assistance, counseling, or other services to assist with business planning needs

Applications will be available online beginning at 8 a.m. on Monday, January 24 at All applications for funding must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. on 02/09/2022. The majority of funds are expected to be distributed by April 2022.

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