National Cinema Day Invites Fans to See a Movie for $3

For one day this summer, you can watch a movie and sit in the air-conditioning for less than a slice of pepperoni pizza

Movie fans nationwide will be able to see a film in theaters for $3 next weekend on September 3, according to a Sunday announcement from the Cinema Foundation, a nonprofit arm of the National Association of Theater Owners.

It’s a new holiday, apparently—National Cinema Day, which will come every Labor Day Weekend—a typically slower holiday in theaters.

More than 3,000 theaters with over 30,000 screens are expected to participate in the new event, including major chains like AMC and Regal. Fans can also expect titles from major film studios, including Amazon, Disney, Focus Features, Lionsgate, Neon, Paramount, Sony Pictures Classics, Sony, United Artists Releasing, Universal, and Warner Bros.

Consider it the movie industry’s “thank you” for fans who rushed to return back to movie houses this summer after the business was decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mark O’Meara, the owner of a 190-seat movie house at University Mall in Fairfax, Virginia, described to Variety what it was like to recently see a packed house for a screening o the latest Spider-Man blockbuster, which was the first time in two years he’d seen such a sight.

“I went in front of the crowd and waved my hands. I think we filled up because other theaters were sold out,” O’Meara told the trade magazine. “We’re not as well known, and there were a significant number of people who had said they had never been to our theater before.”

Jackie Brenneman, Cinema Foundation’s president, says that he truly has gratitude toward moviegoers.

“After this summer’s record-breaking return to cinemas, we wanted to do something to celebrate moviegoing,” she 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.”

And here’s another movie treat—Moviepass is returning, reports NPR. Not in the same free-for-all form you remember—but now with a tiered price system and credits. You’ll give up more credits for seeing a Friday-night film, and less for a Monday matinee. The waitlist is closed, but the rollout will start Sept. 5.

However, the summer box office wasn’t gangbusters. According to Indiewire, the domestic box office will total about $3.35 billion— about 77 percent compared to the summer of pre-Covid 2019—from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign for our newsletters today