Canberra cinema managers are hoping this summer's blockbuster schedule will help re-energise the industry, following a of year lockdowns and capacity limits.
Cinemas have been one of the most disrupted sectors through the COVID pandemic, with patrons stuck in lockdown and the delay of some Hollywood productions.
Theatres in the territory were shut for 11 weeks and only returned to full capacity in late October.
But Dendy Icon Group's chief executive Sharon Strickland, which operates Canberra Centre's Dendy Cinema, said the slate of movies screening over the holiday season was cause for optimism.
"The content slate is the strongest we've seen in a long time," Ms Strickland said.
"There is a plethora of big movies scheduled for this month and beyond."
This week saw the release of Denis Villeneuve's hotly anticipated epic Dune, based on the 1965 science-fiction novel.
The Marvel juggernaut also keeps rolling with the Eternals and Venom currently screening in cinemas and Spider-Man: No Way Home opening later this month.
"Dune has been a long-time coming and we are expecting to see a high number of admissions," Ms Strickland said
"Spider-Man is shaping up to be the must-see film of the summer. Tickets only went on presale on Monday and are already well ahead of expectation."
Limelight Cinemas Tuggeranong director of operations Michael Singh said there was optimism for the period ahead on the back of big-name releases.
"The movies like Spider-Man, the movies like Dune, are made for the big-format, cinema experience, and that always seems when people have come back through the movie business," Mr Singh said.
"The experience for people is unmatched in terms of the big-screen experience with the surround sound and the comfy chairs."
The increasing popularity of streaming services was a byproduct of the pandemic, further unsettling the already precarious movie industry.
Research by media company Telstyte showed as of June 2021, 80 per cent of Australians now subscribed to a paid streaming service.
And throughout the pandemic, film studios elected to bypass theatrical release and send films straight to on-demand viewing.
Ms Strickland believed people were ready to leave the lounge room and return to the cinema.
"Consumers are a little tired of watching content on the couch and are eager to watch quality content on the big screen. You can't replicate the big-screen, shared cinema experience in the home," she said.
"People have missed things that they fell in love with at the movies before streaming became available," Mr Singh added.
The threat of COVID transmission is still real, but cinema leaders say Canberra's high vaccination rates should lessen the risk.
"I don't think there's an element of perhaps fear or any health concerns that we might have had last year when we reopened, particularly because the territory's vaccination rates are so high," Mr Singh said.
"Fortunately, we're now at 100 per cent capacity, but we still do encourage people to social distance where possible and maintain hygienic practices."
Despite lingering concerns about the industry's future, the promise of big-screen entertainment has most in the industry excited about the months ahead.
"We're really ambitious about our new movies, particularly our summer period. And even if you look at the first six months of the calendar year, great, it gives great optimism", Mr Singh said.
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