Motion Picture Theatres Survey

Detailed information for 2003/04





Record number:


This survey collects the financial and operating data needed to develop national and regional economic policies and programs.

Data release - June 28, 2005


This survey collects employment and financial data from motion picture and drive-in theatres in Canada. The data are used by Statistics Canada as input to the System of National Accounts and for Gross Domestic Product calculations. As well, the information is used by the Department of Canadian Heritage and industry associations for policy formulation, and by the Federal-Provincial Equalization Payments Program.

Statistical activity

Statistics Canada data, which describe the Canadian film and video industry, are collected through four separate surveys. Each describes a different segment of the industry. Given the volatility of activity in this sector, data are collected annually through census surveys. This approach ensures the production of reliable indicators for monitoring the health and vitality of the industry.

The surveys that are part of this program are:
Film and Audio-visual Distribution (record number 2414);
Film, Video and Audio-visual Post-production (record number 2415);
Film, Video and Audio-visual Production Survey (record number 2413); and
Motion Picture Theatres Survey (record number 2416).

The survey is currently administered as part of the Culture Statistics Program, which was established in 1972 to create, maintain and make available timely and comprehensive data on the culture sector in Canada. Specialized client-driven information needs are met through analytical studies of such topics as the economic impact of culture, the consumption of culture goods and services, government, personal and corporate spending on culture, the culture labour market, and international trade of culture goods and services.

The Guide to Culture Statistics (available through the online catalogue number 87-008-GIE (free)) has been developed by the Culture Statistics Program to facilitate access to culture information throughout Statistics Canada.

Reference period: Fiscal year

Collection period: September to December


  • Business, consumer and property services
  • Business performance and ownership
  • Culture and leisure
  • Film and video
  • Financial statements and performance
  • Information and culture

Data sources and methodology

Target population

All movie theatres and drive-ins in Canada (including IMAX theatres).

Instrument design

The collection instrument was designed in consultation with data users and questionnaire design specialists. It was last revised in 1996.


This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.

Data are collected for all units of the target population, therefore, no sampling is done.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

The survey is a mail-out/mail-back survey with fax and telephone follow-ups.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

A series of edits are designed to identify problems with the data. This includes consistency, historic and range edits which are completed after collection as part of processing.


Manual and automatic imputation is performed to produce imputed data that are based on previous years' reports, if available, or on the responses of a panel of establishments with characteristics similar to those of the non-respondent, based on revenue size, province, country of control, etc.


This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Quality evaluation

Completed questionnaires are mailed back to Statistics Canada where they are manually edited for completeness and comparability with the previously reported data. Following data capture, all survey records are subjected to an exhaustive computer edit which includes range, relationship and historical edits. Discrepancies are resolved through a review of respondents' files and occasional direct contact with the respondent.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any data which would divulge information obtained under the Statistics Act that relates to any identifiable person, business or organization without the prior knowledge or the consent in writing of that person, business or organization. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Data tabulations are based on aggregate provincial/territorial data to ensure that an individual respondent's data are not disclosed.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology does not apply to this survey.

Data accuracy

Since the survey is a census of all known movie theatres and drive-ins in Canada, only non-sampling errors (coverage, non-response, measurement and processing errors) are possible. Coverage error was minimized by using multiple sources to update the frame. Careful design of the questionnaire, extensive manual and automated edits, imputation for non-response, and monitoring of survey operations all help to limit the magnitude of the non-sampling errors. For the 2003-2004 reference period, the response rate was 94%. Data were imputed for partially completed forms and for establishments which were complete non-respondents. Complete data were imputed for 37 theatres. Their revenues accounted for 0.8% of the total revenues.

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