Culture
Did you know? Malta was home to 36 cinemas back in the 1960s
There are only six cinemas around Malta and Gozo nowadays.

Benjamin Abela

Maltese people have been enjoying nights out at the movies for decades on end, although the relatively recent popularisation of streaming services and, before that, DVD rentals have helped people experience the magic of going to the cinema from the comfort of their own homes (and for a fraction of the price).

Having said that, watching a film wasn’t always as simple as accessing Netflix on a laptop or TV…

If we look back at the 60s, when VHS tapes and Blu Rays were yet to be invented, the only way you could watch a film was by heading to the cinema.

For that very reason, these establishments were extremely common around the Maltese islands – so much so that statistics from 1966 show that Malta and Gozo were home to a whopping 36 cinemas back then.

Figures for 1966

Posted by Simon Cusens on Monday, June 20, 2022

Coincidentally, just last week the National Statistics Office (NSO) published a set of statistics related to Maltese cinemas, and as it turns out Malta and Gozo are presently home to just six cinemas.

This means that there were six times more cinemas in Malta in 1966 than in 2022!

Of the six cinemas around the Maltese islands, four are in Malta whilst two are in Gozo.

Back in the 60s, however, a significant portion of towns and villages around the islands were home to at least one cinema. These include Birkirkara (three cinemas), Sliema (four cinemas), Valletta (five cinemas), Zabbar (two cinemas), and Zurrieq (two cinemas).

National Statistics Office Malta

Statistics also show that going to the cinema was a pretty popular activity, with Valletta’s five cinemas welcoming an average of 29,000 cinema goers every single day.

In contrast, Maltese and Gozitan cinemas admitted just under 270,000 individuals throughout 2021 – 87.5 per cent of which were watching American films.

Do you still go to the cinema?

The Curious Explorer - Revealing Malta / Facebook

20th June 2022


Benjamin  Abela
Written by
Benjamin Abela
Benjamin is a Writer at Content House Group. With his background in journalism, marketing, and the arts, Benjamin enjoys finding the human aspect to any story he gets a hold of. When he's not too busy writing his next article, you could probably find him playing with his cats or performing on a stage.

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