How Many Movie Theaters Are in the US?

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If you’re curious how many movie theaters are in the US, the answer depends on your specific needs. Governments generally count commercial movie theaters, while movie industry associations count all screens. Typically, the total number of screens is based on the number of drive-ins, multiplexes, and independent theaters in a given state. To find out more, see the statistics below.


The film industry is big business all over the world, but some countries are more theater-crazy than others. According to the National Association of Theater Owners, the U.S. has more than forty thousand movie theaters, including drive-ins. The United States is the leader in total screen count, but other countries are catching up. In terms of digital 3D movie screens, the U.S. has the highest percentage of digital screens per capita.

The numbers aren’t always accurate. Governments count movie theaters, but movie industry associations publish counts of screens. These associations also list subcategories and totals for all screens. However, these figures don’t always represent actual movie theaters. The number of movie theaters in the US has been steadily increasing, but the number of drive-ins has remained relatively constant. This decline can be attributed to changes in the number of cars on the road.


A drive-in movie theater is a type of cinema structure with a large outdoor screen, projection booth, concession stand, and parking area. Customers can view a film from the comfort of their car. The name “drive-in” derives from the popular drive-in movie concept, which is still popular today. Here are some facts about this unique cinema structure. You can visit one of these drive-in theaters and find out whether or not it’s worth the trip!

During the 1950s, drive-ins were criticized for their immoral reputation. In the media, they were branded “passion pits.” In 1978, the movie Grease depicted a local drive-in as the favorite place for trysts. The film’s immorality was largely due to a lack of privacy. But as time passed, the drive-in movie theater experienced a resurgence as it gained “retro” status.


There are several different types of multiplexes. A megaplex, on the other hand, is a multi-screen, purpose-built complex. In contrast to boxy mall twin cinemas, multiplexes typically have as many as fifteen screens. A megaplex is often a freestanding structure with an enormous parking lot, and it’s convenient for patrons to take their vehicles inside. Some multiplexes are also part of a shopping mall, as is the case of the newest multiplex.

Despite recent financial turmoil, the movie business remains resilient. A recent coronavirus outbreak has made theater owners cut costs. While this has hurt multiplexes’ bottom lines, it’s not yet the end of the world. Despite the economic challenges facing movie theaters across the country, some of the largest multiplex chains have been able to survive by reducing hours and days of operation. Despite this setback, Cinemark is not closing theaters and is simply reducing the days and hours of operation of its theaters until new movies are available.

Independent theaters

As a result, a number of independent movie theaters in the US are looking to expand their operations. A number of these theaters have been facing financial challenges in recent years, including the COVID-19 pandemic of two years ago. Also, many exhibitors have been grappling with the shortened theatrical window, especially since Warner Bros. released its 2021 film slate day-and-date to HBO Max. And with the rising costs of tickets, many independent movie theaters have turned to repertory programming and community support to remain viable.

The decline in attendance of older people has impacted the number of independent theaters across the US. Because older audiences have been losing interest in adult-skewing dramas, most of the success stories in US theaters have centered on younger crowds. This trend has forced many independent theaters to screen larger budget films, which are not usually seen by older moviegoers. However, arthouse fare, with a commercial crossover, has been popular during this time.


Founded in Mexico in the late 1940s, Cinepolis is the world’s fourth largest cinema chain. Its recent expansion into the US has boosted its growth by 45 percent compared to the previous year. The chain now operates 16 premium and luxury movie theaters. Its expansion into the North East, which includes Philadelphia, added five new theaters in 2016.

The company offers upscale dine-in theater experiences for moviegoers. Its cinemas feature oversized leather seats and in-theater waiter service. The servers will take your food orders before the movie starts and can add on additional items at the touch of a button. Menu items range from chicken wings to lobster rolls, and customers can order specialty beverages like wine and beer. The cinemas offer a variety of options to meet every taste.

Regal Cinemas

The Regal cinema chain operates over 500 locations in the US with 6,851 screens. The company closed locations in California in January due to the Covid-19 outbreak that affected moviegoing. The outbreak prevented many moviegoing patrons from attending theater screenings, and NPR reported an 80% decline in ticket sales. The company has suffered significant losses during the last two years, reporting a combined loss of $708 million in 2020 and $3billion in 2021. However, it is expected that ticket sales will return to normal in 2022, which should be good news for the company.

The company changed its logo in October 2018 after it was no longer a symbol of cinema. Now, it has a crown and a camera aperture, and a new logo in honor of its roots. The logo was also changed to feature the REG typeface. Its motto “Enjoy the show” now appears under the REG logo, and sometimes the “Enjoy the show” message stays on the screen for a minute.

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