For the second year in a row in what could become an annual tradition, National Cinema Day is coming back to movie theaters across the country. For a single day, U.S. cinemas will feature cheap tickets for whatever movie you decide to see for no more than $4.
This coming Sunday on August 27, over 3,000 theaters with over 30,000 screens are offering the discounted tickets, and that discount even applies to Premium Large Format (PLF) screens. So that makes it a great time to finally check out “Oppenheimer” or “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One” on a super-sized screen.
The $4 price tag though is a buck increase from the inaugural program last year, when tickets cost as low as $3. Last year’s National Cinema Day fell during a quiet Labor Day Weekend, and it meant most people just went to see “Top Gun Maverick” again (the Tom Cruise blockbuster topped the box office that weekend and brought in $7.9 million domestic).
This year, though, on the last weekend of the summer, there are a handful of releases opening wide or in limited release, including “Gran Turismo,” “Golda,” “The Hill,” “Retribution,” and “Bottoms.” There are also a number of re-releases available in theaters, including “Oldboy,” “Jurassic Park” in 3-D, “American Graffiti,” and “Lady Bird.” And the theatrical market has certainly been healthier than it was at this time last year.
National Cinema Day is the brainchild of The Cinema Foundation, a non-profit organization affiliated with the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) that launched in March 2022. The group is designed to support the health of the theatrical space and expand NATO’s own reach.
“Following the rousing success of the first annual National Cinema Day, we welcome everyone to join us for the communal experience of one of America’s favorite pastimes – moviegoing,” says Jackie Brenneman, president of The Cinema Foundation. “We look forward to gathering at the movies and celebrating an exciting slate of new releases and classics, from beloved family favorites and outrageous comedies to thought-provoking dramas and thrilling adventures. There’s something for everyone. Let’s all go!”
“Movies have the power to bring us together to share in the joy, the thrill and the magic of a great story told on the big screen,” says Michael O’Leary, president & CEO of NATO. “National Cinema Day is a celebration of movie fandom and of the uniting role that movie theaters play in our communities.”
“We are thrilled to support the second annual National Cinema Day in partnership with The Cinema Foundation and help drive more movie fans into theaters this summer,” says Jerramy Hainline, senior vice president, Fandango Ticketing, a sponsor of the event. “With consumer appetite for top-notch entertainment at a high, and a blockbuster slate of summer movies still in theaters, National Cinema Day allows movie lovers across the country a chance to see one or several titles at a great price.”