Sept. 2 (BP) — Major cinema chains across the United States will be offering movie tickets for $3 this Saturday in celebration of the first-ever National Cinema Day.
Participating theaters will be offering all tickets that day for $3, even for typically high-priced formats like IMAX, 3D or Dolby, according to the National Cinema Day website.
The event is being put on by the Cinema Foundation, the charitable arm of the National Association of Theater Owners, a trade organization that includes most major theater chains in the United States.
Jackie Brenneman, the president of the Cinema Foundation, told CNBC that the idea for a National Cinema Day had been planned for a long time, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic effectively slamming the brakes on the film industry.
“It’s an opportunity [for the public] to see a movie again, or see a movie that they were maybe on the fence about,” Brenneman said. “For people who haven’t come [since the pandemic], this gives them an opportunity to see how great movie theaters are.”
“It’s an opportunity to get people to try out the new technologies and see how they like it,” she added.
Planning began to ramp up again following the pandemic after Regal Theaters parent company Cineworld had a similar event in Britain earlier this year, which proved very successful.
“It gave a model template for how we could do something at that scale in the United States,” Brenneman said.
While not all theaters will be participating in the day, most major American chains, including AMC, Regal, Cinemark and Marcus are all taking place. A list of all participating theaters can be found on the National Cinema Day website.
In addition to major cinema chains, dozens of independent, small and art-house theaters will be offering $3 tickets as well.
Vox noted that the day should be busy, considering that a large chunk of the film industry has recovered from COVID-19. The outlet reported that total domestic ticket sales this summer exceeded $3 billion — though this is still an estimated 20% less than summer 2019.
While there are currently no plans to make National Cinema Day an annual event, Brenneman said that she hopes they would be able to do it again.
“We’ll work really closely with all of our partners to make sure that we evaluate the successes this year and figure out how we can build it even better for everyone next year,” she said.