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Cinema industry trends
Screens by type of location

1985–2016

Next update March 2018

The number of suburban screens has seen more than a seven-fold increase between 1985 and 2016, from 167 to 1,173. Fifty-five per cent of screens are now in the suburbs, compared to 23 per cent in 1985. The number of screens in the city has been in steady decline since 2000, falling to an historical low of 68 in 2014. Screen numbers in the country have more than doubled since 1985, from 406 to 873.

Screens by location, 1985

Screens by location, 2016

Graph: Percentage of screens by type of location, 1985 and 2013. The table following provides the data.
  City1 Suburban2 Country3 Non-commercial4
1985 128 167 406 41
1986 121 150 364 41
1987 111 158 330 46
1988 111 197 340 64
1989 116 250 345 61
1990 119 322 350 60
1991 118 339 373 55
1992 116 371 366 53
1993 118 384 394 55
1994 110 442 419 57
1995 113 500 469 55
1996 118 547 536 50
1997 123 663 584 52
1998 127 797 600 52
1999 123 890 694 41
2000 129 949 700 39
2001 125 981 710 39
2002 121 980 732 39
2003 120 1,003 745 39
2004 108 1,030 732 n.a.
2005 108 1,056 779 n.a.
2006 94 1,079 791 n.a.
2007 86 1,063 792 n.a.
2008 86 1,089 805 n.a.
2009 82 1,103 799 n.a.
2010 73 1,112 807 n.a.
2011 73 1,111 806 n.a.
2012 73 1,117 807 n.a.
2013 74 1,142 841 n.a.
2014 68 1,126 847 n.a.
2015 68 1,137 845 n.a.
2016 75 1,173 873 n.a.

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.
n.a. Not available.
1. ‘City’ refers to cinemas in the CBDs of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
2. ‘Suburban’ refers to cinemas in non-CBD areas of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
3. ‘Country’ refers to cinemas outside Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
4. ‘Non-commercial’ refers to cinemas not generally open to the public, such as those at army, naval and airforce bases, mining camps, film societies, colleges and universities. Since 2004 these figures have not been reported separately but are included in the totals of the appropriate category.

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