Since the discovery of the motion picture, people have flocked to movie theaters to be entertained, to relax, to fantasize and to get away from every day cares. It is leisure time and income that push the demand for movie theater entertainment. With over 2,000 companies owning more than 5,000 indoor theaters nationally, the industry does over $11 billion in revenues annually. It is the 50 largest companies that produce 85% of the revenue total.
Movie theater owners rely on the distributors of films, the studio marketing departments and the audience to generate the interest for the films and get the audience into the theaters. While ticket sales are the bulk of the theater revenue, it is the food concession that is the highest profit maker for a theater. Exhibiting a film requires licensing from a studio and it varies depending on the film’s advance publicity and interest.
From simple one screen theaters of early film days, the movie theater has become the multi-plex, some with over 20 screens. Multi-plex theaters are generally found in suburban areas, in or near malls and dining. San Francisco’s movie theaters are a mix of the old and the new designs, as are New York’s movie theaters. Art Deco movie palaces vie with ultra modern multi-screen theaters. Thanks to the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), the audience receives the best viewing entertainment possible.
Special effects, super-stereo sound, 3-D and much more has brought the film audience back into theatres in droves. Because of these, owners have to keep up with new equipment and technology.
More screens are added to older theatres and new theatres begin with 21 or more screens.
Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, Cinemark and MovieCo are the major players of the industry.