If you’ve been apprehensive about returning to movie theaters in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, theaters owners get it. And they’re hoping a steep discount may change your mind.
On Saturday, September 3, thousands of theater locations will participate in National Cinema Day, a program looking to incentivize theatergoers to stuff themselves back into multiplexes. Tickets to first-run films will be just $3, down from the $12 and up pricing for most non-matinee showings.
The event, which is organized by the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO), estimates 3000 theaters and 30,000 screens will participate, or roughly three-quarters of all screens in the country. According to NATO, the price should be in effect for any movie regardless of the time or format, though online third-party ticketing fees will still apply.
So what can attendees expect? Labor Day weekend will see the release of Spider-Man: No Way Home: The More Fun Stuff Version, an extended cut of the hit 2021 Marvel/Sony film that paired Spider-Man with allies and enemies from the multiverse. Roughly 11 minutes of new footage has been added. You can also catch Three Thousand Years of Longing, a new fantasy film from Mad Max helmer George Miller; the mega-church satire Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul.; or Top Gun: Maverick, which has dominated the summer box office.
If theaters see a spike in attendance, National Cinema Day could become an annual event. Concessions, however, are still going to empty your pockets.