Saturday’s National Cinema Day proved a resounding success as operators across the home nations offered tickets from £3 in the UK and €4 in the Republic of Ireland. Audience footfall on the day reached over 1.6m cinemagoers, comfortably surpassing the last two COVID-affected years and almost three times the equivalent day in healthier pre-pandemic times.
With 643 participating cinemas, the initiative was the first of its kind to be undertaken in the UK and Ireland since the 1990s. Led by cross-industry body Cinema First, National Cinema Day was supported by both the UK Cinema Association and the Film Distributors’ Association.
Speaking on the event’s success, Iain Jacob, Chair of Cinema First, said:
‘The appeal to audiences of the true cinema experience is universal, enduring and deep-rooted. We wanted to celebrate this with a ‘big thank you’ to audiences and a great offer for everybody in the UK.
People clearly really loved our inaugural National Cinema Day. The cinema experience has always been the most enriching and positive form of escapism, by combining the joy of cinema with an amazingly accessible price we are proud to have supported our audiences at this incredibly challenging time.’
At a time when the cost-of-living crisis is putting tremendous strain on household incomes, the aim of National Cinema Day was not only to celebrate the power and grandeur of cinema but also to make a trip to see a film on the big screen more economical.
With such a great response from audiences and many cinemas seeing sell-out shows across the day, it is likely that National Cinema Day could return in 2023 and perhaps even become an annual event.