While the excitement of the summer movie season is over, U.S. theaters are looking to reinvigorate interest in filmgoing with National Cinema Day, a one-day event that will see participating locations sell movie tickets for prices as low as three dollars.
The Cinema Foundation, a non-profit branch of the National Association of Theatre Owners, announced the event on Sunday, according to the Associated Press. National Cinema Day will take place this Saturday, Sept. 3, at more than 3,000 theaters across the U.S., comprising 30,000 or so participating screens. For reference, there are about 40,700 theater screens in the country.
“After this summer’s record-breaking return to cinemas, we wanted to do something to celebrate moviegoing,” Cinema Foundation president Jackie Brenneman said in a statement. “We’re doing it by offering a ‘thank you’ to the moviegoers that made this summer happen and by offering an extra enticement for those who haven’t made it back yet.”
National Cinema Day arrives just as the summer box office’s momentum has all but fully dissipated. This weekend, theatrical releases put up a collective $52.7 million gross — the lowest grossing weekend since February — with new releases “The Invitation,” “Three Thousand Years of Longing” and “Breaking” all putting up rather meager opening numbers.
Theaters hope that National Cinema Day can rejuvenate moviegoing during a fallow period, while also creating buzz for the fall season’s slate of releases. Organizers have also reportedly described the initiative as a trial for what could become an annual event. National Cinema Day marks the first movie-going-discount affair of this scale in the modern age, incorporating competing theater chains and independent locations.
The event also aligns with the Labor Day weekend’s release of “Spider-Man: No Way Home, The More Fun Stuff Version,” an extended edition of last holiday season’s Marvel mega-hit, which earned $804 million at the domestic box office.
U.K. cinemas have also set their own National Cinema Day event, which will also take place on Sept. 3.
Interested consumers can check which locations near them are participating through the event’s official website.