Going, Going, Gone? The Culture of Moviegoing

It’s a frequently observed fact that movie audiences have steadily shrunk over the last 50 years. There are a slew of quick explanations (television, the emergence of gaming and other recreations, the erosion of film societies, etc.), but while we talk a lot about marketing and distribution, the question of why we pay to see movies in dark theaters is as much a question of sociology. How and why has the movie-going culture changed? Is there a generational divide, a fundamental change in the attitudes and culture identity of youth? What about the role of movies in counter-culture? And what do the owners of America’s art house theaters think—people for whom questions of cultivating audiences and fostering an appreciation of art are not simply a matter of scholarship?

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]