Author: progressiveculturedynamics

How the Movie Theater Is Becoming a Thing of the Past

How the Movie Theater Is Becoming a Thing of the Past

With streaming services such as Netflix on the rise, and after witnessing the death of Blockbuster, how long will it be before movie theaters also become just a thing of the past?  The trend seems to be moving more and more towards internet streaming services, and with those services starting to create their own, original content, people are becoming more reluctant to leave the comfort of their own homes for entertainment.  The following link takes you to an article from Business Insider, showing the decline in movie theater admissions from 2006-2015:

With 86.7 million people subscribed to Netflix more people might be staying in rather than going out ( ). In times of poor economic conditions, it would not be surprising that people are choosing to save money and watch movies at home rather than spend money on expensive tickets and popcorn. Even more endangering to movie theaters is “binge-watching” in which people become addicted to their favorite TV shows. Since companies like Netflix and Hulu are relatively new, one should expect there to be an even greater impact on the consumer behavior of current and coming generations.

Another article from Pew Research Center said that “Three-quarters of all adults say they would prefer watching movies at home rather than in a theater..”. (  That article was published in May of 2006.  There are, however, things that movie theaters are doing to try to draw in more audience members and drive ticket sales.  Here in Lincoln, Nebraska, Marcus Theaters offers a $5 movie night on Tuesday nights for any movie.  Some of the theaters have also had electric reclining chairs installed to make the movie watching experience that much more comfortable.  They have even begun to merge movie night with a dinner experience allowing people to go to a their all night long. But will promotional deals, expensive comfortable seats, and a dining experience be enough to keep movie theaters alive for the years to come? The following are numbers taken from the NATO (National Association of Theater Owners) website, showing the numbers of U.S. cinema sites in the United States:

Year Indoor Drive-In Total
2015 5,484 349 5,833
2014 5,463 393 5,856
2013 5,326 393 5,719
2012 5,317 366 5,683
2011 5,331 366 5,697
2010 5,399 374 5,773
2009 5,561 381 5,942
2008 5,403 383 5,786
2007 5,545 383 5,928
2006 5,543 396 5,939
2005 5,713 401 6,114
2004 5,629 402 6,031
2003 5,700 400 6,100
2002 5,712 432 6,144
2001 5,813 440 6,253
2000 6,550 442 6,992
1999 7,031 446 7,477
1998 6,894 524 7,418
1997 6,903 577 7,480
1996 7,215 583 7,798
1995 7,151 593 7,744


We can see that since 1995, there has been a drop of close to 2000 indoor cinema sites.  The numbers do show, however, that the number of indoor sites have increased from 2013 to 2015.   This tells us while the overall trend has been a decline, that there is still a market of movie-goers, and that theaters are still able to open and make money.

In conclusion, movie and movie theater lovers don’t have anything to worry about for the time being.  Theaters will still be around for the foreseeable future to enjoy giant screens and surround sound speakers for the full movie experience.  As long as the movie industry keeps making the films that people love, die-hard fans will still line up for tickets for years to come.

Works Cited:

Movie theater attendance is declining as cord cutting becomes more popular. (2016, September 07). Retrieved November 04, 2016, from

Smith, C. (n.d.). 95 Amazing Netflix Statistics and Facts. Retrieved November 18, 2016, from
Last updated November 17, 2016

Increasingly, Americans Prefer Going to the Movies at Home. (2006, May 16). Retrieved November 04, 2016, from  

Number of U.S. Cinema Sites. (n.d.). Retrieved November 04, 2016, from