For many, a trip to the movie theater can put a serious dent in the wallet. With tickets, popcorn, soda, and candy – the cost quickly adds up. Yet this has hardly ended Americans’ love affair with the movies. In 2016 alone, the movie industry gross in the box office exceeded $11 billion – the greatest yearly amount to date.
One reason for the industry’s high gross figure is ticket prices, which have undergone dramatic increases over the last 70 years. In 1950, a person could purchase a movie ticket for a mere 46 cents on average. By 2016, the average ticket price had increased to $8.65 — and the increase in ticket prices shows no signs of slowing down.
Still, the prices of tickets are much more consistent when adjusted for inflation. In fact, ticket prices have actually decreased from the 1971 high of $10.16 in current dollars. The theater-going experience has also improved in many ways. As noted by the National Association of Theatre Owners, projection technology has improved as did seating and food and beverage service in many theaters.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed ticket prices for each year since 1946, in both dollars adjusted and unadjusted for inflation.