Turkish cinema attendance dropped by 70 percent in 2020

Official figures released on June 16 have displayed the impact of the COVID-19 shutdown on Turkey's cinema industry as movie theatres lost 69.5 percent of their audience in 2020 compared to the year before.

Duvar English 

The COVID-19 pandemic has paralyzed the Turkish cinema industry in 2020 as ticket sales dropped by 69.5 percent compared to 2019, according to official data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute on June 16. 

The number of viewers decreased by 59 percent for national film productions in 2020 compared to the year before, while the loss in audience numbers stood at 83.6 percent for foreign productions, TÜİK said.

As for the number of movie theaters across Turkey, it registered a decrease of 4.5 percent in 2020 compared to 2019 and became 2,698.

Closed since November 2020, movie theaters reopened in June with capacity restrictions.

They are now allowed to operate at a 50 percent seating capacity during the same hours as restaurants and cafes – from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

TÜİK also shared data on the number of theatre audiences, saying it registered a decrease of 43.1 percent in the 2019/2020 season compared to the 2018/2019 season and became 4.5 million.

“In 2019/'20 season, the number of theatre halls decreased by 20.1% compared to the 2018/'19 season and the number of theatre seats decreased by 24.5%. Number of the theatre halls was 720 and the seating capacity was 267 thousand 857,” TÜİK said.

The pandemic also left its mark on the opera and ballet scene as their audiences decreased by 20.5 percent in the 2019/2020 season and became 256,063.

“The number of shows performed in opera and ballet halls decreased by 7.8% to 165 in the same period. The 89 of these shows were national shows and 76 of them were foreign shows,” TÜİK said.