Senators on Capitol Hill unveiled their 2018 theaters-opening plan Wednesday, unveiling their recommendations for where and when they should open their venues.
Senate Republicans, for example, want to move more of the nation’s theater owners to states that don’t have a requirement to open at least half their theaters to the public.
“I think our theaters are doing fine,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said of his chamber’s theaters.
“I think what we need to do is have a plan to keep them open for as long as we can.
I think that’s going to be part of what we’re going to do over the next couple of years.”
“The problem is, I think if we’re just going to just let theaters close, they’re going not only to close down but to have to shut down,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).
“They’re going either to have more people than they have seats, or they’re not going to have enough seats,” Klobur added.
“It’s the same as what we had before, where we didn’t have enough people.
We didn’t get enough people, so we had to shut theaters down.
And that’s what we’ll be doing now.”
The Senate’s chamber has been the subject of criticism for its lack of transparency on how it decides when to open theaters and how much time they’re expected to spend on public programming.
McConnell has been pushing for more transparency in the chamber’s theater-opens process, and in the past, he’s been working to get a bill to the floor that would provide a similar process.
The chamber’s chamber of commerce has been one of the most vocal opponents of such a bill.
But it hasn’t yet passed.
McConnell and other Republicans are expected to vote on a Senate bill this week that would extend the chamber of tourism and hospitality’s current deadline for opening new theaters to 30 days.
The legislation has some similarities to the House bill, and Klobutary said she was pleased to see it included in the Senate version of the bill.
“If we can get the House’s bill passed, we will be able to move forward with this bill,” Klbuchary said.
“But it’s really important for us to move ahead with this legislation and make sure that it includes the Chamber of Commerce and that we include the Chamber’s input.”
Klobuchary and other Senate Democrats, however, argue that the chamber should have a more expansive deadline for theaters to open.