National Cinema Day draws audiences in with $3 tickets

Ana Guardia

Moviegoers all around the U.S. celebrated National Cinema Day on Sept. 3 with screenings of their favorite movies and tickets that only cost $3.

Established by the Cinema Foundation, a supporting arm of the National Association of Theatre Owners, National Cinema Day is celebrated annually to remind everyone of the joys of attending a movie theatre. The celebration invites bigger audiences to return back to larger scale cinemas.

This year drew in over 8.1 million people, an increase of over 9%, compared to the only 1 million theatergoers on Sept. 2. According to the National Association of Theatre Owners, the weekend of Sept. 3 marked the highest attendance record for movie theaters in the year.

By lowering movie ticket prices to only $3 theaters were able to top over $24 million in ticket sales, with over 3,500 theaters participating in this nation-wide promotion. The celebration even included well-known chains such as AMC Theaters and Regal Cinemas.

This was a great increase not only in general profit, but also seasonal profit, considering how the mid-year season tends to have lower-grossing ticket sales for cinemas.

Some of the films enjoyed on the day included titles recently released, such as biographical musical drama “Elvis,” action drama sequel “Top Gun: Maverick” and action comedy “Bullet Train.”.

National Cinema Day also featured blockbuster favorites such as “Jaws,” and the re-release of “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” an already successful title since its release in 2021.

These success rates create a compelling case for the idea of the national holiday. The increase in cinema attendance gives a glimpse of how simple changes, such as a lower ticket-price promotion, can help pull guests back to movie theaters and away from streaming services. This concept, apart from COVID-19, is the biggest threat for cinemas all around the world.

By taking advantage of this lesson, and continuing to amplify it in ways such as lower concession prices, movie theaters might be able to renew that old-fashioned love of attending an in-person film and celebrating the big screen itself.