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Movie Theaters Offering $4 Tickets on Aug. 27 for 2nd Annual National Cinema Day

National Cinema Day is back in time to ring out summer.

On Aug. 27 — a Sunday — thousands of theaters across the U.S. will slash movie ticket prices to $4 for any title in any format.

The second annual National Cinema Day hopes to build on the success of a similar offering over Labor Day weekend last year, when tickets were just $3. The overall initiative is the brainchild of the Cinema Foundation, a relatively new nonprofit organization that’s affiliated with the National Association of Theatre Owners.

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More than 3,000 movie theaters operating north of 30,000 screens will participate in the one-day event as a means to celebrate the theatrical experience. Consumers can choose from an array of offerings, from new releases Gran Turismo: Based on a True Story, Golda and Retribution to summer hits like Barbie, Oppenheimer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem and Sound of Freedom. The Super Mario Bros. Movie and The Little Mermaid Sing-Along will also be on the marquee, along with re-releases of such classics as Jurassic Park (3D), American Graffiti, Lady Bird and Oldboy.

“We look forward to gathering at the movies and celebrating an exciting slate of new releases and classics, from beloved family favorites and outrageous comedies to thought-provoking dramas and thrilling adventures,” Cinema Foundation president Jackie Brenneman said.

The average movie ticket price is presently $10.53, up 15 percent from 2019, according to NATO. Ticket prices can be notably higher in major cities such as New York and Los Angeles, and that’s before taking on the upcharge for a premium screen (Imax tickets can be $25 or more).

Normally, Hollywood studios and cinema operators would be loath to shave their prices so dramatically, and especially on a weekend, but National Cinema Day 2022 was a wild success, with moviegoing hitting record levels. Total revenue for Sept. 3, 2022, was $23.6 million, an uptick of 101 percent over the Friday before and coming in well ahead of previous Labor Day Saturdays.