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Go see a movie for $3 on Saturday

restone_theater.jpg
Sean Higgins
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The Redstone Theater in Kimball Junction will be offering the $3 ticket promotion on Saturday.

Movie theaters here and around the country are participating in National Cinema Day on Saturday, offering tickets for just $3!

The Cinema Foundation, which is the non-profit arm of the National Association of Theater Owners, announced that over 3,000 theaters will be joining in the $3 offer.

Major companies such as AMC and Regal Cinemas are participating. The Redstone theater in Kimball Junction and the Holiday Village Cinema in Park City will both offer the promotion. Both locations are operated by LA-based Metropolitan Theaters. The company plans to offer a concession deal as well on Saturday - a small popcorn and small soda combo for $6.

Movie theaters have been struggling the past few years, as attendance has not rebounded to pre-pandemic levels. Cineworld, the London-based owner of Regal Cinemas, recently said it plans to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Regal is the second largest operator of movie theaters in the world.

AMC, which is the largest global cinema chain, has managed to stay afloat due in part to individual investors that made it a so-called “meme stock” - driving the company’s shares up roughly 1,200% in 2021. That allowed AMC to raise more than $2 billion in equity last year.

On top of the pandemic effects, Americans have swiftly moved to streaming services for their movies and TV shows. For the first time ever - more people watched streaming content on services such as Netflix and HBO Max than they did on cable television in July, the ratings company Nielsen said earlier this month.

This summer’s domestic box office has generated roughly $3.3 billion in ticket sales as of Aug. 21, which lags behind pre-COVID 2019 numbers by about 20%.

Overall, about 500 movie screens nationwide have gone away since 2019, according to the National Association of Theater Owners.

Parker Malatesta covers Park City for KPCW. Before coming to NPR, he spent one year as a general assignment reporter for TownLift in Park City. He previously was the news editor at The News Record, the student paper at the University of Cincinnati. He loves running, reading, and urban planning.