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Photo: National Cinema Day
On September 3rd, 2022 movie theaters across the world saw a record number of people attending movies and buying snacks. Now this increase in customers was not by chance, but instead a result of a holiday which took the world by storm. It is known as National Cinema Day, and it was a huge success. The holiday itself was created by The Cinema Foundation which is a non-profit focused on keeping theaters and the big screen experience alive for years to come. Over 8 million people streamed into theaters around the world that were offering films in any format for only three dollars. On top of this, many other snacks and drinks were also only three dollars for this one special day. Anyone who has been to the movies recently will recognize that this is indeed a steal, in fact, it is more akin to highway robbery than anything else.
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After being advertised all over many news sites and stations, many people decided to take advantage of this once-every-year opportunity and see films like ‘Top Gun: Maverick’, ‘Nope’ and even ‘Jaws’. As a result, National Cinema Day was undoubtedly a success. Theaters from all over were given a boost that they very much needed and many people were treated with the cinematic experience, some for the first time in a very long time. Based on its success this year, there is no doubt that National Cinema Day will become a regular holiday for movie fans everywhere, especially since many big entertainment companies such as Marvel may start to target the week that the holiday falls on for some of their bigger releases. Surely National Cinema Day will be a day which we see celebrated for years to come, by families, friends, and individuals alike from all around the world. However, National Cinema Day also revealed the dark side of theaters across the globe and demonstrated the constraint that may one day lead to their downfall.
What this day says about theaters
National Cinema Day may have been a success and a big win for theaters but it also served to magnify the main problem that these theaters are plagued with. Put simply and shortly, it is their prices. Anyone who has been to a theater recently is sure to recall the insane prices that tickets and snacks cost. In fact, these prices are higher than they ever have been in history and frankly, they are sure to rise to an even higher point than they are at right now. This is a massive problem for theaters.
National Cinema Day
National Cinema Day as a whole proved the main reason that audiences do not go to the theaters as often as they used to. It is not for lack of content. This is proven by the release of many big movies recently including, as mentioned previously, films like ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ and ‘Nope’. Theaters are even consistently rereleasing older films such as ‘Jaws’, ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’, and ‘Cabaret’ to draw more people in. So there are clearly enough quality films out to pull in audiences. So why are people not going to the movies altogether? If it is not because of a lack of good movies showing then why is it? Well, National Cinema Day proved that the reason is something which is actually quite simple, it is the price of the movie-going experience. As mentioned earlier prices at movie theaters have continuously risen and not fallen for years. That is, apart from one day, apart from September 3rd. On September 3rd there was National Cinema Day and prices at the movies reached a point that had not been seen for literal decades.
The main, and frankly the only, pull behind National Cinema Day was the drop in prices, and was it a successful pull. These days, 8 million people going to the movies in one day is nearly unheard of. It simply does not happen. Logically, the only reason it might happen is if movie theaters across the world were able to drop their biggest problem, and they were. By fixing their biggest issue people were finally willing to make the trek to see what movies mid-2022 had to offer. The partnership between many theaters and National Cinema Day revealed the secret to the prosperity of theaters for years to come. The only thing that has to happen now in order for theaters to secure this prosperity is that these theaters must change forever.
The key to the problem
The fix to many theaters’ problems is actually very simple: lower the prices of the food. While theaters may be unable to lower the price that they sell tickets for, they are certainly able to lower the prices of the snacks they offer. Now while one may imagine that lowering the prices of snacks may in fact kill theaters because they would not be making as much a profit off of these purchases, I believe that the opposite will occur. This is mainly because lowering snack prices will bring in many more patrons to the theaters who will then purchase tickets, which theaters get a cut of, and then who will usually buy more snacks. This in turn will actually increase the revenue of the theaters all over the world and save the movie-going experience forever.
The solution to saving movie theaters is one that is actually quite simple. National Cinema Day proved what these theaters’ main problem is and it even provided an example of a solution to that problem by lowering the prices of snacks. Theaters can save themselves and the theater experience, all they need to do is lower the prices of their snacks and watch many more people come in and enjoy a film on the big screen. This is all certainly possible and must be done soon, before it is too late, because at the moment theaters as a whole are not headed in a good direction. But like I said, this can be fixed with a simple solution, all theaters need to do is act efficiently and they will be saved for years to come.
By Nathaniel Lee
Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE.
I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. Cinema taught me about our world, at times in English and at times through the beautiful one-inch bar of subtitles. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, TV, media, art, fashion, sport, etc. Please keep this going full speed.”
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