National Cinema Day

Movie Ticket Will Cost $3 On National Cinema Day

On Saturday, September 3rd, movie tickets in the United States will be $3 in honor of National Cinema Day (via Associated Press). If you’ve never heard of such a holiday (at least not in the United States), it’s because it didn’t exist until recently.

The $3 ticket price (not including tax) applies to all tickets, formats, and showtimes, including IMAX and 3D films. So far, 3,000 theaters, including famous brands such as Regal, Cinemark, and AMC, have agreed to participate on the new holiday.

National Cinema Day

You should also not dismiss your local, independently run cinemas. The Verge reviewed a list of participating cinemas and found some smaller locations, such as the Starmax Cinemas in Vandalia, Illinois, and the Wellfleet Cinema drive-in (a personal favorite) on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Enter your area on the National Cinema Day website to see whether theaters near you are participating. Participating theaters will also offer a “special sneak peek” of upcoming films from studios such as Disney, Universal, Lionsgate, Paramount, and Warner Bros.

The Cinema Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded earlier this year by the National Association of Theatre Owners, developed National Cinema Day to urge people to return to theaters. Due to a dearth of new releases, Labor Day weekend is traditionally quiet for movie theaters, but perhaps National Cinema Day might help change that. Personally, I haven’t seen a movie in cinemas since 2019’s Joker, so perhaps this is the universe’s way of telling me it’s time to go.

Movie theaters took a significant hit during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and they have also had to fight with a hybrid release model in which certain movies are released in theaters and on streaming sites on the same day. Last year, theaters negotiated agreements with studios such as Warner Bros., Paramount, and Disney to guarantee periods of in-theater exclusivity for select films (albeit they are far shorter than in the past).

However, because to blockbusters like Thor: Love and Thunder and Jordan Peele’s horror flick Nope, an astonishing amount of people returned to theaters this summer. According to Comscore, the box office this summer grossed $3.027 billion, a 134.6 percent increase over last year. The impending reinstatement of the Moviepass subscription may also play a part in bringing people back to cinemas in the future (potentially to the dismay of theaters).

“After this summer’s record-breaking return to theaters, we wanted to do something to commemorate moviegoing,” said Jackie Brenneman, president of the Cinema Foundation, in a statement. “We’re doing it by saying ‘thank you’ to the moviegoers who helped make this summer a success, and by providing an extra incentive for those who haven’t returned yet.”

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