One was the year of A Clockwork Orange and decimalisation. The other was that of Avatar and the shattered economy. But while 1971 and 2009 were wildly different in terms of the technological limits of the films on offer, new figures published today show that they shared similarly buoyant levels of cinema-going.
In terms of box office, it was a record year with takings topping £944m. Cinema admissions also shot up from last year's healthy 164 million to 174 million, not quite beating 2002 (176 million), but still up 6% and the second highest number since 1971.
Much of the problem stems from the global economic downturn and also the failure so far of the movie industry to work out how best to make money from the internet.
"The evidence is that the transition into the digital world is going to be quite bumpy," said Woodward.
The big inward investment movies – or Hollywood funded – of 2010 include the final Harry Potter, John Carter of Mars and the next Pirates of the Caribbean.