Going to the movies is perhaps the most popular and widespread form of participation in the arts. Hundreds of millions of people attend showings of hundreds of films, presented in tens of thousands of movie theatres around the country. While digital video over the internet continues to grow in popularity, and in its impact on how feature films are delivered, cinema showings continue to attract the largest audiences of the activities tracked in this Index.

This indicator estimates the percentage of adults – those 18 and over – who saw a movie in a theatre in the prior three months. It uses data from 2009, 2010, and 2011 from Scarborough Research. The indicator is limited to the 525 counties where Scarborough gathered data from a minimum of 180 respondents over the three years.


Additional Information: Average county indicator value = 48.79%. Median county indicator value = 48.97%.


Fast Facts from the Arts Index

International cultural tourism proves recession-proof. Arts travelers are ideal tourists—they stay longer and spend more.  The U.S. Dept of Commerce reports that the percentage of int’l travelers including museum visits on their trip has grown annually since 2003 (17% to 24%), while those including concerts and theater performances have increased five of the past seven years (13% to 17% since 2003).