The Boom of the Cinema

By: Caleb Fox and Michelle Guthrie

There’s the smell of popcorn, the dusty classy carpets, the audience reactions, the comfort of sitting on plush seats in a darkened auditorium. Even with the rise of radio, television, to eventual digital mediums, people still treasure the experiences that only attending a cinema brings. Movie theatres have been around since the early 1900s, and the craze for films has never quite died.

Cineplex, one of the largest movie houses in Canada, employs thousands of Canadians each year.

“I definitely care about the people I work with,” says Becky Rain, an employee at the Cineplex Scotiabank Theatre at West Edmonton Mall. . “Working in concession sucks sometimes but…it’s nice to work beside some really cool people.”

Rain has been employed with Cineplex for eight months, and while working concession or various other places around the theatre, above all, the people she works with are her favourite part.

“I think a lot of people like to escape to the cinema,” says Rain. “We live in a very blue-collar city, where people work all the time, and the cinema is a chance for them to escape their busy lives. I know that’s why I go.”

The numbers don’t lie. Movie theatres attract thousands of guests each year. Below is an infographic showing ticket sales and box office revenue from 1996 to 2016.

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Movie revenues have stayed consistent throughout the years, even with the rise of Streaming platforms like Netflix, and even illegal downloading. Hollywood is well aware of and makes sure to tap into the types of content that people enjoy, so naturally adaptions, sequels, and franchises are abundant. These types of films are what people enjoy the most, and the numbers show that. The familiarity of adaptions and sequels draws people to the screen in the same way that the familiarity and nostalgia of being in a movie theatre does. Though people often complain that Hollywood has no original ideas anymore, the reality is that franchises and adaptations are the biggest box office draws. Hollywood has one of the most sustainable business models ever, and will likely continue to be an economic juggernaut for generations to come.

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