The $2 trillion stimulus may have saved the movie theater business from financial ruin. After being forced to close because of the coronavirus pandemic, cinemas across the country were struggling to find a way to keep paying their rent and other bills without being able to sell any tickets. It was a scenario that could have led to widespread bankruptcies.

“This legislation dramatically improves the capability of theater owners to stay solvent,” said John Fithian, CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners. “I don’t know if every single company we represent will be able to stay in business, but we were confronting massive liquidity problems and likely failures before this passed. This legislation changes that whole scenario. It will be tremendously helpful in the survival of the movie theater industry and the well-being of our workers.”

The legislation was approved unanimously by the Senate and is expected to be passed on Friday by the House, with President Donald Trump quickly signing it into law. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said that various parts of the legislation could be implemented as early as next week. But, in the theaters’ case, the clock is ticking.

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