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Monday, March 02, 2009

Movies: A Bright Spot Amidst the Gloom

Chatting with the manager of one of my local theaters, the Showcase Cinemas in Revere, I asked him how business had been -- given the general economic malaise we seem to be mired in.

I was there on a slow Wednesday night, so it was hard to tell how things were going.

But Ken told me that he was astonished at how busy they've been. He said there have regularly been weekend nights lately that felt to him like mid-summer.

Then, a few days later, the New York Times published this piece, noting that ticket sales and attendance are up by 16-17 percent so far this year.

Interesting snippet:

    In 1982, theater attendance jumped 10.1 percent to about 1.18 billion (the top seller was “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial”) as unemployment rose sharply past 10 percent. Then admissions fell nearly 12 percent, an unusually sharp drop, in 1985 (the “Back to the Future” year), as the economy picked up — suggesting that theater owners have sometimes found fortunes in times of distress, and distress in good times.

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