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State aid supports private movie theaters

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EAU CLAIRE (WQOW)- After a tumultuous summer for the film industry, private movie theaters across Wisconsin will soon be getting a financial boost.

Gov. Tony Evers announced last week that the state is allocating $10 million to support privately owned movie theaters across the state. The grants come as part of a $100 million investment into Wisconsin small businesses that Evers has put forward.

Employees at Micon Cinemas are grateful for the governor's support after a summer where few new movies were released in theaters.

"We got to have the money to keep the lights on, and the projectors running and the popcorn popping," said Dan Olson, general manager of Micon Cinemas. "I think this gets us hopefully to that next step, that next stage, whatever it might be, it at least gives us a fighting chance to continue."

Olson says there is an application process for the grants that will likely begin at the end of this week. He says the money Micon Cinemas receives would likely fund short term costs at the theaters, but he hopes to receive federal funding to ensure the business stays afloat through the pandemic.

Evan Hong

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