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January 28th, 2013 8:37 pm EST - By

Inflation-Adjusted High For a Movie Ticket Was Hit in 1973




In 2012, the average cost of a movie ticket in the United States was $7.92.

This doesn't include all of the (expensive) extras that you usually get roped into buying when you hit the theater, such as popcorn, pop and chocolate bars. We are just talking about the actual ticket.

In 1910, the average cost of a movie ticket was $0.07. Adjusted for inflation, a movie ticket in 1910 would work out to about $1.71 in 2013 dollars.

Movie Ticket Stub - IllustrationIn 1924, the cost of a movie ticket was $0.25, which works out to about $3.33 in 2013 dollars.

The cost of a movie theater ticket would slowly rise throughout the late '20s and early '30s before hitting a brick wall. The cause? The "Great Depression". In 1933, the inflation-adjusted cost of a movie theater ticket was $6.14 - by 1937, this number had dropped all the way back down to $3.97 (inflation adjusted) as Americans struggled to afford nights out.

A movie theater ticket hovered around the $4 mark (inflation-adjusted) throughout World War II, and would bounce between $4-$5 until the early '60s, when the cost of seeing a movie started to soar.

By 1966, the cost of seeing a movie in 2013 dollars was $7.73, which is roughly what the cost is today. The cost continued to increase throughout the late '60s and early '70s, hitting an inflation-adjusted high of $9.34 in 1973.

The inflation-adjusted cost of seeing a movie would decrease throughout the '80s and '90s - in 1996, a movie theater ticket cost $4.42, which works out to $6.46 in 2013 dollars.

From 2000-2012, the costs of purchasing a movie theater in the United States (Year | Cost of Ticket | Inflation Adjusted Cost):

2000 | $5.39 | $7.18
2001 | $5.66 | $7.33
2002 | $5.81 | $7.40
2003 | $6.03 | $7.52
2004 | $6.21 | $7.54
2005 | $6.41 | $7.52
2006 | $6.55 | $7.45
2007 | $6.88 | $7.61
2008 | $7.18 | $7.65
2009 | $7.50 | $8.01
2010 | $7.89 | $8.30
2011 | $7.93 | $8.08
2012 | $7.92 | $7.92


The Cost of a Movie Ticket - Inflation Adjusted Chart - 1910 - 2012


Source: What Did It Cost? A Look Back



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