In uncertain times, there is no more comforting thought than that we’re all in this together, something the moviegoing experience has been reinforcing for generations. In addition to the help theater employees need from the government, the theatrical exhibition community needs strategic and forward-thinking partnership from the studios. The past few weeks have been a reminder, if we needed one, that there are parts of life that are far more important than going to the movies. But, when you consider what theaters provide, maybe not so many as you might think.

Movie theaters have gone dark, and will stay that way for a time. But movies, unlike unsold produce or unearned interest, don’t cease to be of value. Much of this short-term loss is recoverable. When this crisis passes, the need for collective human engagement, the need to live and love and laugh and cry together,will be more powerful than ever. The combination of that pent-up demand and the promise of new movies could boost local economies and contribute billions to our national economy. We don’t just owe it to the 150,000 workers of this great American industry to include them in those we help, we owe it to ourselves. We need what movies can offer us.