Mayor Vincent C. Gray proposed legislation that would facilitate the opening of a movie theater east of the Anacostia River and lure more production business to the District. The new legislation would impose an additional 5 percent sales tax on District movie theater food concessions. In the first year the tax is assessed, 75 percent of the proceeds will be used as an incentive for the first major motion picture theater to open east of the Anacostia River and 25 percent will be used for local production incentives.
The proposed legislation follows discussions Mayor Gray held in late July with major studio and network executives in Los Angeles to discuss how to attract more Hollywood business to the District. Based on feedback from the industry, Mayor Gray and Ms. Palmer, Director of the DC Office of Motion Picture and Television Development, immediately began reviewing the current incentive program for opportunities to develop a more competitive production incentive.
Mayor Gray believes this incentive bill will create jobs for District residents, develop and promote District small business, contribute to local infrastructure development, generate additional tax revenue and increase tourism opportunities. “This incentive will attract major film and television productions that may have gone elsewhere and, ultimately, pay for itself with the increased revenue it will generate. It is a win-win,” stated Mayor Gray.
Several feature film and television projects including NBC’s 1600 Penn and The Firm, Netflix’s House of Cards, and ABC’s Secret Cabinet have expressed interest in filming in the District as well as TNT’s Covert Affairs. It is believed this legislation will convince actor and producer Adam Sandler, who has expressed interest in the District of Columbia as a location, to bring his next major motion picture to DC.