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Record number of Americans avoided movie theaters last year: poll

A record-high 61 percent of Americans didn’t step foot in a movie theater at all last year, a new Gallup poll released Friday reveals. Americans watched an average of just a little over one movie in a theater over the past 12 months, the survey says. It’s the first Gallup poll on movie-going since 2007, when 32 percent said they didn’t go to the theater — half of last year rate. Between 2001 and 2007, Americans overall watched an average 4.8 movies in a theater. Gallup noted that the COVID-19 pandemic forced nationwide shutdowns of both movie sets where films are made and theaters where they are screened, particularly in 2020. But many film buffs never returned even after theaters reopened last year. “Attendance appears to remain depressed even with movie theaters now open and vaccinations available to most Americans, suggesting continuing public concern about catching COVID-19 in indoor establishments like theaters,” the Gallup analysis said. But the study also emphasized that growing use of home streaming services in recent years also likely contributed to the decline in theater customers.. “While the three in five Americans who did not go to a movie in the past 12 months is likely inflated because of the pandemic, the industry is grappling with the fact that the habits Americans have fallen into at home may be a barrier to getting them back into theaters when the pandemic ends,” Gallup said. “Additionally, movie theaters may have fewer offerings for their customers, given ongoing staffing challenges and the slowdown in movie production.” The survey queried 811 American adults through cell phones and landlines from Dec. 11 to 16. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. .




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