Movie Theaters Draw Large Crowds on National Cinema Day

September 15, 2022

By Jacie Sellars, Staff Writer

September 15, 2022

On Sept. 3, movie theaters across the country celebrated National Cinema Day, offering large discounts to moviegoers. All movie tickets were $3, and some theaters also reduced popcorn and drink prices. Going to the movies is an experience full of nostalgia and excitement that has captivated Americans for over 100 years. However, the rise of streaming services has given people an opportunity to watch new films without leaving home. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, theaters closed, and avid movie-watchers grew accustomed to the convenience of streaming services. Movie theaters are now competing with this new technology by promoting the unique theater experience. 

National Cinema Day was an attempt to bring people back to the theaters and remind them why in-person viewing is special. Cinemark advertised the event as a way to “celebrate movies and movie lovers everywhere.” Labor Day is usually a slow weekend for theaters, but the promotional event brought in an estimated 8 million moviegoers. The movie selection included new films, such as the action flick “Bullet Train”, and timeless classics like Stephen Spielburg’s  “Jaws”. Other popular films included “Top Gun: Maverick”, “Elvis” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” According to Fortune, cinemas made around $24.3 million in box office returns.

Although the event greatly improved viewer turnout, certain theaters experienced chaos. Massive crowds caused a frenzy that led to running, shouting and even fighting. Local news stations in Portage, MI, reported a brawl in a local theater that ended with the arrest of three juveniles. Some moviegoers shared their negative experiences on Tiktok, documenting security and police escorting people out the theater. Even in tamer theaters, employees had to put in a lot of work to accommodate many more customers than usual. These circumstances raise an interesting question- will movie theaters continue to celebrate National Cinema Day in the future? Theater corporations will have to weigh the challenges large crowds create against potential profit in order to decide. 

Overall, the large sales on National Cinema Day prove that people still have an interest in going to the movies. Film lovers haven’t forgotten the feeling of escaping reality while experiencing a new story on the big screen. Although the day had its ups and downs, it ultimately brought hope to movie theaters.Throughout the weekend, trailers were shown for many upcoming premieres in order to inspire moviegoers to return in the future. Theater owners are optimistic about the return of the industry, and they expect people to continue going to movies in the fall.  


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