Nina's SVOG Tips

Date of News Item

1/29/21 Tip #1

I did an analysis comparison of the on fixed audience seating issue raised in SBA’s recent FAQs (1/27/21) for Shuttered Venue Operator Grants (page 2, question #7) and the actual legislation. 

The FAQ answer wasn’t specific enough to indicate to which entities that this requirement applies. It merely says those “eligible entities required by the Act to have fixed seating…

I re-read the original legislation, the fixed seating requirement only applies to movie theater operators and museum operators.  It does not apply to live performance venues or theatrical producers. See below for details.

I understand that this is still a problem for those historic museums that cannot have affixed theaters. I suspect that this will need to be a legislative fix, but with a new administration, there may be wiggle room with an executive branch fix, so we need to do both.



7. Is a venue with a multipurpose room with movable seating eligible to apply?

No. The Economic Aid Act specifically requires fixed seating and makes no allowance for temporary, removable, modular, convertible, or other non-fixed seating arrangements. As such, eligible entities required by the Act to have fixed seating cannot satisfy this requirement with other forms of seating.


Key portions on fixed seating in the legislation:

Page 2128:

(iv) A motion picture theatre or motion picture theatres operated by the motion picture theatre operator have the following characteristics:  

(I) At least 1 auditorium that includes a motion picture screen and fixed audience seating.


Page  2129:

(v) The relevant museum or relevant museums for which the relevant museum operator is seeking a grant under this section have the following characteristics:

(I) Serving as a relevant museum 9 as its principal business activity.

(II) Indoor exhibition spaces that are a component of the principal business activity and which have been subjected to pandemic-related occupancy restrictions.

(III) At least 1 auditorium, theater, or performance or lecture hall with fixed audience seating and regular programming.



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