Figures just released show that cinema admissions reached 164.2 million in 2008, a 1.1 per cent increase on 2007.

Admissions were boosted in particular by an exceptionally strong summer, which saw the best audience figures since 1969. From June to August 2008, there were over 53.6 million admissions, 5.6 per cent higher than for the same period in 2007.

Commenting on the figures, James Bird, Policy Executive at the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association said:

“2008 was another great year for cinema audiences.

We know that admissions generally hold up well when the economy falters but last year was particularly strong because of the sheer quality and range of the films. From Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Crystal Skull and The Dark Knight to Sex in the City, Mamma Mia! and Quantum of Solace, there has been something for everyone to enjoy, often more than once!

Cinemas are looking forward to another good year with the next Harry Potter, the Transformers sequel and the Oscar hopefuls at the start of the year offering more great value entertainment.”