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Cinema audience
attendance patterns

Percentage of people who had been to the cinema in the last 12 months, and average number of visits, 1974–2023

Next update July 2025

The proportion of Australians attending the cinema at least once per year has averaged 66 per cent since 2000, with an average of about seven visits per year per person. 

The drop in both attendance rates and frequency in the mid-1980s is usually attributed to the upsurge in video hire in Australia from 1982. Attendance levels dropped from 67 per cent in 1982 to 53 per cent four years later. Frequency of attendance fell sharply between 1982 and 1984, from 9.1 to 5.2 visits a year.

Cinema attendance rates and the frequency of visits dropped to an historical low in 2021 as the exhibition sector continued to feel the effects of rolling cinema closures, state lockdowns and social-distancing regulations that were imposed in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Both attendance rates and frequency of visits increased in 2023, but remain significantly below their respective averages.