Rural Theaters COVID-19 Support Grant

The Rural Theaters COVID-19 Support Grant provided $320,000 to 400,000 in financial assistance to remote theaters across Colorado. These theaters make up the heart of main street in many rural communities.

Grant awards were distributed to rural theaters at $7,500, $10,000, or $12,500 levels depending on eligibility, need, and availability of funds.

These funds were made possible by a partnership between the Office of Economic Development and International Trade, the Gates Family Foundation, the Boettcher Foundation, and the El Pomar Foundation, and the Colorado Educational and Cultural Facilities Authority.

 This program was a one-time grant that closed in December 2020. You cannot apply for this grant anymore.


Type: Grant

For: Rural theaters

Amount: $7,500 to $12,500

Application deadline: December 11, 2020

OEDIT division: Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media

Eligible theaters

Non-profit, community-owned, and privately-owned independent theaters in rural Colorado are eligible to apply. Rural counties are defined as counties that are currently eligible for or have ever been eligible for the Rural Jump-Start program.

The following counties are ineligible: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, Eagle, Elbert, El Paso, Gilpin, Jefferson, La Plata, Larimer, Pitkin, Summit, Teller, Weld.

You will need to demonstrate economic hardship that your theater is experiencing through your choice of documents like bank records, point of sale receipts, and profit and loss statements. The types of economic hardships that qualify for assistance through this program include:

  • loss of revenue due to COVID-19 associated with a stay at home order or social distancing capacity limit
  • loss of revenue due to COVID-19 associated with a voluntary closure of the business to promote social distancing measures
  • loss of revenue due to a decrease in customer demand due to COVID-19
  • increased costs to operate the business due to COVID-19

Eligible expenses

Eligible expenses include:

  • payroll costs
  • rent or mortgage payments
  • utilities
  • property insurance
  • operating expenses and working capital
  • programs to implement COVID-19 social distancing measures
  • inventory for items to mitigate COVID-19 impact

Ineligible expenses include:

  • expenses that have been or will be reimbursed under any other program
  • losses that have been or will be covered under any other program
  • lobbying
  • debt, such as monthly credit card bills
  • capital purchases or construction
  • capital purchases are defined as expenses greater than $25,000 with a usable life of five years or more.

The review process will take place in December with awards distributed by mid-January 2021.

Priority will be given to:

  • non-profit or community-owned theaters
  • theaters that have the operating capacity for venue rentals and/or community center activities
  • official or unofficial historic buildings
  • communities in which the next closest theater aside from the applicant is 20 miles or more away from the town center
  • theaters that act as a screening venue for local film festivals
  • theaters that have not benefited or minimally benefitted from other federal, state, or local COVID-19 relief funds
  • theaters supporting a high number of jobs

We will request:

  • an invoice for your approved grant amount
  • a W-9 form
  • an electronic funds transfer (EFT) approval form
  • a scanned copy of a voided check in order to set your account up for EFT

After your organization has been approved in our accounting system and your invoice processed, you will see the funds in your account within 5 to 10 business days.

Theaters will be required to register their business or non-profit with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and schedule a consultation meeting with their regional representative by December 17, 2020.

The SBDC representative will provide a letter of confirmation to OEDIT administrators that they met with you.

Connect Further

Sign up for email updates

Sign up for email updates from the Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media.

View All Programs