This was a great year for sub-run theatres, at least in my area. In addition to my own, I book several sub-run houses in eastern Pennsylvania. They all did better this year over last year, showing anywhere between 5% to 10% increase in box office receipts. None of these theatres had any price increases, therefore admissions were up the same amount.
My theatre had a mach larger increase, due in part because of my restoration project at the end of last year. As many of you will remember, I had the auditorium wood floor refinished, all new seats and carpeting installed, repainted most of the interior of the theatre, and replaced all the stage and auditorium curtains and drapes with new ones. This restored the theatre back to it's original appearance as when it opened in 1933. It took 3 and 1/2 weeks to accomplish this work between Thanksgiving and Christmas of last year, and therefore we lost all income for that period, which of course we had this year, adding to our overall increase in sales.
The bottom line is that with all of that factored in, my theatre saw an increase in box office sales (again with no price increases, still all seats $3.00)of 24%. The concession saw an increase of 31% (no price increases there either).
What does that suggest? People do want to go to the movies, but price and environment do matter.