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Cinema industry trends
Screens and theatres

Total screens, seating capacity and theatres in Australia, 1980–2016

Next update March 2018

The number of cinema screens in Australia has risen more than 150 per cent between 1980 and 2016, from 829 to 2,121. After a decline in the mid-1980s, growth was particularly strong in the three years to 1999, when screen numbers rose by 150 to 175 per year. Following several years of gradual growth, 2007 recorded the first fall in screen numbers since 1987. This was reversed in 2008, with growth continuing since then. However, the screens are increasingly concentrated.

 

Graph: Total no. screens and seating capacity in Australia, 1980-2013. The table following provides the data.
  Screens
(incl. digital)
Digital screens Capacity
(‘000 seats)
Theatres
1980 829 - 378 713
1981 842 - 384 723
1982 833 - 381 711
1983 863 - 395 737
1984 822 - 377 702
1985 742 - 324 573
1986 676 - 295 509
1987 645 - 303 506
1988 712 - 285 520
1989 772 - 286 501
1990 851 - 295 510
1991 885 - 301 522
1992 906 - 296 510
1993 951 - 300 518
1994 1,028 - 312 537
1995 1,137 - 332 557
1996 1,251 - 355 551
1997 1,422 - 387 563
1998 1576 - 413 567
1999 1,748 - 446 580
2000 1,817 - 453 554
2001 1,855 - 463 547
2002 1,872 - 464 547
2003 1,907 - 472 553
2004 1,909 - 467 525
2005 1,943 - 473 519
2006 1,964 27 467 494
2007 1,941 30 457 485
2008 1,980 54 462 493
2009 1,989 184 463 492
2010 1,994 452 459 482
2011 1,991 704 457 475
2012 1,997 n.p. 452 478
2013 2,057 1,168 445 486
2014 2,041 1,160 439 489
2015 2,080 1,179 443 493
2016 2,121 1,195 440 498

Source: Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia (MPDAA).

Notes:
Each year is based on annual data accessed the following January/February in the MPDAA theatre report and does not reflect any subsequent updates by the MPDAA.
Includes drive-ins, as well as ‘non-commercial’ screens not generally open to the public, such as those at army, naval and airforce bases, mining camps, film societies, colleges and universities.
n.a. Not available.
n.p. Data is out-of-date and may be incorrect.

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