Movie tickets across the US will be just $3 on Saturday, September 3 to celebrate National Movie Day (via Associated press). If you’ve never heard of such a holiday before (at least in the US), that’s because it never existed until now, apparently.
The $3 ticket price (excluding tax) applies to all tickets, formats, and times — and yes, that includes IMAX and 3D films. So far, a growing list of 3,000 theaters, including popular chains like Regal, Cinemark and AMC, have agreed to take part in the new party.
You also might not want to count your independently run local theaters. In a list of participating theaters seen by The edge, we spotted several smaller spots, like the Starmax Theaters in Vandalia, Illinois, and the drive-in Wellfleet Cinema (a personal favorite) in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. You can find out if theaters near you are participating by listing your location on the National Movie Day website. Participating theaters will also show a “special preview” of upcoming movies from various studios, including Disney, Universal, Lionsgate, Paramount, Warner Bros., and more.
The Motion Picture Foundation, a non-profit organization created by the National Association of Theater Owners earlier this year, proposed National Movie Day as a way to encourage people to return to the movies. Labor Day weekend is a notoriously slow time for theaters due to a lack of new releases, but perhaps National Movie Day could help change that. Personally, I haven’t seen a movie in theaters since 2019. Jokerso maybe that’s the universe’s way of telling me it’s time to go to the theater.
Movie theaters were hit pretty hard during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and also had to deal with a hybrid release model in which some movies hit theaters and streaming services on the same day. Last year, theaters signed deals with studios like Warner Bros., Paramount and Disney to promise theatrical exclusivity periods for certain movies (although they’re much shorter than in the past).
But this summer, an impressive number of people returned to theaters, thanks to blockbusters like Thor: Love and Thunder and Jordan Peele’s horror movie Nope. According to Comscore data, this summer’s box office earned $3.027 billion, an increase of 134.6% from last summer. The impending return of the Moviepass subscription could perhaps play a part in getting people back to the cinema in the future as well (potentially much to the dismay of cinemas).
“After the record-breaking return to theaters this summer, we wanted to do something to celebrate cinema,” Jackie Brenneman, president of the Cinema Foundation, said in a statement. “We do this by offering a ‘thank you’ to the moviegoers who made this summer possible and by offering an extra incentive to those who have yet to return.”