By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Sep 03, 2022 at 7:16 AM

Unfortunately for movie theaters, a pretty spectacular summer blockbuster season – highlighted by the likes of the record-shattering "Top Gun: Maverick" – is closing without a happy Hollywood ending.

This time of year is typically pretty barren, an awkward desert between summer blockbuster season and fall scary/serious season, but these past few weeks have been a desolate wasteland on par with "Mad Max: Fury Road" with studios barely releasing any movies – and barely promoting the ones they are. Blame studio consolidation and squeamishness, blame a hyperfocus on streaming or blame the pandemic for production delays – but as noted by Forbes box office expert Scott Mendelson, judging by the summer box office, while the demand for movie theaters is there, the actual movies aren't. And the result is starving theaters out of business – not just letting theatrical die on the vine, but threatening the whole vine in the process. 

So, if there was ever a time to venture over and support your local movie theater, now's the time. For one, while few films are getting released right now, the ones that are hitting the big screen (like "Fall," "Beast," "Bodies Bodies Bodies," "Three Thousand Years of Longing" and "Emily the Criminal") are pretty dang good. But also, most importantly, it's about to get fantastically cheap – as in honor of National Cinema Day, movie theaters across the nation are going to knock ticket prices down to $3 on Saturday, Sept. 3. 

That's right: On Saturday, Sept. 3, all screenings of all movies in all formats, all day long, will cost just $3 a ticket (plus tax) at just about all movie theaters. 

Here's the list of Milwaukee-area theaters participating in this blockbuster-sized bargain on Saturday:

  • AMC Mayfair Mall
  • Avalon Atmospheric Theater
  • Marcus BistroPlex at Southridge
  • Marcus Hillside
  • Marcus Majestic of Brookfield
  • Marcus Menomonee Falls
  • Marcus Movie Tavern in Brookfield Square
  • Marcus North Shore
  • Marcus Ridge
  • Marcus Saukville
  • Marcus Showtime
  • Marcus South Shore
  • Marcus Southgate
  • The Oriental Theatre
  • Silverspot Cinema in Brookfield
  • The Times Cinema

So yeah, pretty much everybody (save for the Landmark Downer – which does have discounted $7 Tuesdays, if you're looking to hit the big screen without spending big bucks beyond Saturday). 

The National Cinema Day savings aren't just limited to the box office, though, as several venues will offer discounts and deals at the vending stand as well on Saturday. For instance, Marcus Theatres locations will feature $3 regular-sized fountain drinks, $2.50 hot dogs and $5 Samuel Adams seasonal pours. The AMC Mayfair will also offer a deal, serving up its popcorn and drink cameo combo for just $5. 

For more information on National Cinema Day and the upcoming Saturday savings, click here – and for what's playing at each theater this weekend, check out their respective websites. And whether you're taking a stab at the new horror flick "The Invitation," seeing "Top Gun: Maverick" for a ninth time, finally witnessing "Jaws" on the big screen or some other excellent option, we'll see you at the movies. 

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.