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Movie Theaters to Offer $3 Tickets on September 3 for National Cinema Day Event

More than 3,000 theaters will offer discounted tickets on what is typically one of the slowest moviegoing weekends of the year.

EMERYVILLE, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 23: A sign is posted in front of a ticket at the AMC Bay Street 16 theatre on August 23, 2022 in Emeryville, California. In an effort to raise money following two years of pandemic losses, movie theater chain AMC Entertainment has issued one share of preferred stock to shareholders for every common AMC stock they hold. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Many of the biggest theater chains, including AMC, are participating in the promotion.

Getty Images

This weekend’s disappointing box office numbers may be particularly bad due to the lack of new releases, but a late summer lull at the box office is hardly atypical. With the summer blockbuster season essentially over and the fall movie season yet to commence, there is often little to entice moviegoers to make a trip to the multiplex.

But a new promotion set to run on Labor Day weekend is hoping to change that pattern. Or, at least, minimize the damage. The Cinema Foundation, a non-profit arm of the National Association of Theater Owners, has announced that the inaugural “National Cinema Day” will take place on Saturday, September 3. Movie theaters across the country will offer $3 tickets to all movies in what’s being billed as a celebration of in-person movie attendance.

“After this summer’s record-breaking return to cinemas, we wanted to do something to celebrate moviegoing,” said Cinema Foundation president Jackie Brenneman 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.”

All of the major Hollywood studios are participating in the event, as are some of the biggest national theater chains including AMC and Regal Cinemas. In total, the event will encompass over 3,000 theaters and 30,000 movie screens. Theaters that have opted into the promotion are doing so with no strings attached: at participating theaters, the $3 ticket price will apply to all movies in all formats. AMC also used its social media accounts to announce a special deal on concessions for the event.

Though Labor Day weekend is devoid of major new releases, the participating studios are planning to use what they hope will be an influx of new moviegoers to promote their biggest upcoming titles. All screenings on National Cinema Day will be preceded by a sizzle reel comprised of footage from upcoming films including “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and “Don’t Worry Darling.” A24, Amazon Studios, Disney, Focus Features, Lionsgate, Neon, Paramount, Sony Pictures Classics, Sony, United Artists Releasing, Universal, and Warner Bros. all contributed footage to the sizzle reel.

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