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Lights, camera, scandal: the steamy secrets of Canadian moviegoers

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6min read
Image of love hearts and a clacker board.

Amid the laughter and tears inspired by the latest silver-screen flicks, Canadian cinemas are harbouring a salacious secret life that rivals any Hollywood drama. From stolen kisses to sexual affairs, the hallowed halls of entertainment have become playgrounds for the raunchy and the bold.

While families and cinephiles gathered to view Barbie and Oppenheimer last week, little did they know that the real intrigue was unfolding right beside them. According to our eye-opening study, nearly half of Canadians have turned a simple movie date into a torrid rendezvous, right there in the theatre.

But it’s not just the young and impulsive getting in on the action; from the Baby Boomers to the audacious Millennials, the spark of theatre romance is being ignited across generations, and the fire is spreading.

A row of seats and an aubergine emoji

Getting steamy under the silver screen

In the dim glow and soft hum of Canadian movie theatres, a pulse-quickening drama is unfolding, and it’s not just on the big screen. With 36% of respondents attending movies only once or twice a year, Canadians are seizing the moment to get frisky in the aisles.

The allure of the darkened cinema, with its plush seats and secretive ambiance, is proving irresistible to couples. An astonishing 61% of Canadians have given in to temptation, engaging in public make-out sessions, right there in the theatre. For them, the main attraction isn’t on the screen, but in each other’s arms.

Their mastery of discretion, however, is even more breathtaking. Of these amorous moviegoers, a mere 7% were ever caught in the act, while a stealthy 93% managed to keep their passionate encounters a tantalizing secret. These statistics reveal a hidden world of desire, pulsating just beneath the surface.

But the boundary pushing doesn’t stop there. An audacious 1 in 5 Canadians (21%) have escalated these liaisons into fully blown sexual encounters, right within the walls that welcome family audiences.

Among these daring couples, only 2% were ever caught, leaving us dumbfounded by how many sordid interactions we’ve obliviously sat next to at the movies.

A generation unbound

Quebec claims the title of Canada’s hotbed of cinematic romance. With a steamy 1 in 10 confessing to having sex at the movies, the theatres are playing host to more than just Hollywood love stories. British Columbia and Ontario are not far behind, trailing at 8% and 7%, adding their own chapters to this sultry narrative.

But the Millennial generation steals the spotlight in this tale of public passion, being a sizzling 91% more likely to engage in public intimacy compared to their more demure Gen-Z counterparts. Are the screens inspiring real-life romance, or are the Millennials simply writing their own scripts?

And here’s the twist nobody saw coming: a full 1 in 10 Canadians over 55, those often viewed as the epitome of decorum, have spilled their own scandalous secrets, admitting to sexual escapades right at the cinema.

It seems the intoxicating allure of movie theatre romance isn’t confined to youth, but transcends age, challenging stereotypes and adding a sensational new dimension to what it means to “go to the movies” in Canada. The popcorn may be hot, but the audience is undeniably hotter.

Intoxicating experiences: behind the curtains

A row of movie seats and a leaf on the screen

Forget the large soda and hotdog, our research unveils that a staggering 1 in 3 (31%) Canadian moviegoers have smuggled booze into the cinema, with 29% witnessing someone get outright plastered during the flick.

An eye-popping 42% confessed to walking into the theatre already under the influence of mind-altering substances, seeking a trip to another dimension without even leaving their seats…

The plot thickens: a whopping 69% of daring Millennials admit to drug use right in the theatre, exploring the cinematic experience on a whole new level. But don’t think this is just a youth revolution. The Boomers aren’t staying in the shadows; at 15%, they’re even more likely to dabble than Gen Z, who lag behind at 8%.

Conclusion: Canada’s hidden theatre culture

Indeed, beneath the glow of the silver screen and the aroma of buttered popcorn, Canadian movie theatres are transforming into enclaves of thrill, seduction, and flirtation with the forbidden.

Our explosive survey reveals a tale that stretches far beyond the plotlines of the films. From the shadowy embrace of lovers getting down and dirty to the Boomers taking a trip to more than just the cinema, the spotlight is on the movie theatre as far more than a place to enjoy the latest Hollywood blockbuster.

So, as we settle into our seats for the next cinematographic hit, it begs the question — what really happens next to us as soon as the lights go down?

It seems like the big screen isn’t the only thing capturing the audience’s imagination: from public intimacy to illicit substances, these findings rip away the velvet curtain, exposing a world of forbidden indulgence that might leave many in the audience gasping for more.


In August 2023, we surveyed 1,498 respondents aged 18+.

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