Gov. Reynolds Announces COVID-19 Movie Theater Relief Program

Financial Assistance Available to Iowa Movie Theatres for Continuation of Operations 

Gov. Kim Reynolds

DES MOINES - Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) today announced the launch of the new Iowa Movie Theatre Relief Program. The program will provide short-term relief to eligible movie theatres for the purpose of continuing or resuming operations in the context of the public health emergency.   

“Throughout this pandemic, we have worked to find a balance to protect the lives and livelihoods of Iowans,” said Gov. Reynolds. “In so many small towns and rural communities, a movie theater can be the lifeblood of main street. This program will assist movie theaters in their day-to-day operations alleviating some of the economic strain they are seeing as a result of virus mitigation and social distancing practices.”   

The Iowa Movie Theatre Relief Fund will provide up to $10,000 per screen to assist the nearly 150 movie theatres housing approximately 550 screens in Iowa with operational expenses. The state has allocated up to $5.5 million of federal CARES Act funds for the program. This statewide program, an extension of the Small Business Relief Grant program, is offered through the IEDA.  

To be eligible for a grant, the applicant must demonstrate that it: 

  • Operates movie screen(s) in Iowa showing films open to all ages 
  • Conducted regularly scheduled screenings in Iowa in Calendar Year 2019 
  • Was subject to limitations or restrictions described in a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency issued by Gov. Reynolds on or after March 17, 2020, or it has not been able to host screenings in Iowa between March 17, 2020, and the submission date of the application for assistance through the Fund 
  • Incurred a revenue loss in Calendar Year 2020 due to the pandemic as compared with Calendar Year 2019 

Theatres with corporate ownership based outside of Iowa, with additional screens outside of Iowa, must use this grant for their Iowa-based screens and/or operations. Submissions will only be accepted via online submission. The application window will open on Monday, November 9, and close at 5 p.m. on Monday, November 16, 2020.   

For a full list of eligibility requirements, additional information, and to apply, visit Application questions should be directed to

Gov. Reynolds announces Nearly $1 Million in Rental Assistance for Derecho-Impacted Iowans 

Rental Assistance Available for Eligible Renters in Benton, Boone, Cedar, Clinton, Jasper, Linn, Marshall, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Story and Tama Counties 

DES MOINES – The Iowa Finance Authority Board of Directors today announced a total of more than $1 million in funding through the federal HOME program to assist eligible renters impacted by the Aug. 10, 2020 derecho.  Iowans who resided in Benton, Boone, Cedar, Clinton, Jasper, Linn, Marshall, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Story or Tama County at the time of the natural disaster may be eligible for rental assistance. 

Anawim Housing, the City of Cedar Rapids and the Eastern Iowa Housing Corporation were each awarded $364,000 to provide rental assistance to eligible renters who were impacted by the derecho. Renters in need of assistance are encouraged to contact one of these agencies to apply.   

“Iowa will continue to be a partner for our communities who are working so hard to rebuild and come back stronger than before,” said Gov. Reynolds. “Today’s announcement will provide direct assistance to many Iowans struggling to pay their rent because of this summer’s derecho. The state of Iowa is committed to full recovery no matter how long it takes.”  

“The funding announced today will provide a critical resource for many Iowa renters who were impacted by this summer’s derecho,” said Iowa Finance Authority Executive Director Debi Durham. “We are proud to partner with Anawim Housing, the City of Cedar Rapids and the Eastern Iowa Housing Corporation to make this assistance available to Iowans in twelve counties.”    

Eligible renters must have resided in one of the twelve counties approved for Individual Assistance by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at the time of the natural disaster and must have a household income of at or below 80% of the area median income.  

Derecho Recovery Rental Assistance:  

Anawim Housing 

  • Award Amount: $364,000 
  • Program Contact: 515.244.8308 |  Website  

City of Cedar Rapids  

  • Award Amount: $364,000  
  • Program Contact: 319.286-5872| Website 

Eastern Iowa Regional Housing Corporation  

  • Award Amount: $364,000  
  • Program Contact: 563.588.1963 | Website 

The Iowa Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention program remains open for applications through Dec. 4 to assist eligible renters and homeowners in any area of the state who have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency. More information is available at

The Iowa Legislature created the Iowa Finance Authority in 1975 to undertake programs to assist in the attainment of housing for low- and moderate-income Iowans. Since then, the Iowa Finance Authority’s role has grown to include affordable housing, water quality and beginning farmer programs. 

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